Are hidden nanny cameras legal?
This is an important issue particularly to parents who are considering using a nanny service for the first time. Employing nannies are now becoming a necessity as often in a family, both parents are working. Because of this, understanding nanny camera laws is of great importance.
Nanny cameras are often necessary to keep an eye on the person tasked to look after your children. A nanny’s true behavior is usually found out in the first month or two. If you want to know if your nanny smokes in the presence of your kids, installing a spy cam is the best solution. A hidden camera can also let you know if your hired sitter spends enough time with your child, pays enough attention to the child or if she is abusing the child physically or emotionally.
Generally, it is legal to videotape nannies even without their permission or knowledge but using spy cams with audio can and will have legal consequences. Audio taping people without their permission or knowledge falls under ‘wiretapping’ and ‘eavesdropping’ which are punishable by law. However, the laws governing the use of devices that can record voice vary from state to state so it is best to check with your local laws to confirm.
Everyone have certain expectations of privacy in private places like in bathrooms, bedrooms, locker rooms and in their own homes but we should not expect to have privacy in the homes of other people. Proponents of nanny camera, parents and indeed the court have all agreed that setting up nanny cameras in people’s own homes to monitor sitters is NOT an invasion of privacy.
Videotapes made by a nanny camera installed in a home can be admitted and used in court as evidence in a lawsuit filed against a nanny. This is especially true in states where the local law does not say anything about protecting the nanny’s privacy in the home of her employers because the court will automatically interpret this as the Constitution’s inability to protect the nanny’s privacy in another person’s house.
Videotaping a nanny with a hidden camera that does not include audio does not violate the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act. And besides, parents who install nanny cams in their homes are consenting to their child being taped. Although the issue about audiotaping a nanny without her consent splits the states, many do agree that it is perfectly legal to videotape a nanny without her knowledge as long as there is no sound.
So there you go, according to nanny camera laws in the United States, using hidden nanny cameras are legal as long as you are careful not to set up nanny cameras that also capture or record audio.