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Nanny/Hidden Camera Surveillance Laws
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Many of us have watched, stunned, as one of the popular prime-time news magazines showed a tape of a nanny or babysitter abusing, neglecting, or caring improperly for a child. We wonder how people so cruel or with such a lack of common sense could be caring for little ones in the first place. Yet there they are, daily—and some parents, alarmed by stories of abusive caregivers, have resorted to spying in their own homes.

Using hidden cameras, also known as “nanny cams,” is a difficult decision. Usually parents suspect wrong doing and that is why they decide to buy these cameras to confirm or disprove their suspicions.



Are Hidden Nanny Cameras Legal?
It is generally legal to videotape nannies without their permission; however, using cameras with audio can impose legal ramnifications since it may fall under "eavsdropping" or "wiretapping". laws governing use of a device with an audio component to tape a sitter without consent vary from state to state. Check with your local laws to confirm.

We all have expectations of privacy in private places. But should we expect privacy in the home of another? The answer is NO.
Parents and other proponents of nanny-cams argue that the installation of a hidden camera in their own home is not an invasion of privacy.

The court has agreed. In State v. Diaz, 706 A.2d 264 (1998), the leading case on this topic, the court ruled that a videotape made by a hidden camera in the residence of the parents of the child was admissible as evidence in the lawsuit against the nanny for assault and child endangerment. The court decided that since there was an absence of state action, the Constitution did not protect the nanny's privacy in someone else's house.
The court also held that a videotape without sound did not violate the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, but furthermore, that sound was admissible because the parents had consented to their child being taped.

States vary on this particular issue, but most agree that a videotaping your nanny without her knowledge is perfectly legal so long as there is no sound. Audiotaping without the nanny's consent is an issue upon which the states are split.


There are a variety of reasons people choose home surveillance. Many parents who are using a nanny service for the first time want to make sure that their choice of a nanny is good. Many times you will find out about a nanny's behavior in the first month or two. The fact that ones child has been entrusted to someone you hardly know can be a big leap of faith. Parents may be concerned about a sitter’s everyday behavior such as smoking or cursing, or they may have greater concerns of whether the caregiver is paying enough attention to the child, or is physically or emotionally abusing the child.


“I want to know when I leave and close that door what’s going on behind it. I want to know my child is safe and being nurtured, played with, sang to and loved,” says Erkus. “I think the ethics go right out the window when it comes to protecting our children. Caregivers are paid to keep your kids safe and happy, not to get mad at your kids, yell at them and hit them or put them in a swing all day and neglect them.”

Nanny-Cams and our Privacy by Jessica Sann

 


 

 

 

 

References:
http://www.securityworld.com/library/family/videaotapeyournanny.html
http://216.239.57.104/search?q=cache:uTQYabG5OrwJ:www.lawtechjournal.com/notes/2002/20_020819_sann.php+nannycam+%2B+lawsuit&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
http://www.dataworkz.com/childcaremagazine/ArchivesFolder/Issue5Archive.htm;
http://www.colucciinvestigations.com/press.48hours.htm.

Nanny Cam Spy Laws