The Controversial Nanny Cam Debate!

nanny camIn today’s day and age, many of us rely on an army of electronic gadgets to keep us connected and informed on what is going on around us. Technology has come far in recent years and there is always a new product promising to make our lives easier, healthier, or safer. One piece of equipment that has always been popular are home security cameras and Nanny Cams, like the new Drop Cam by Nest. However, despite their popularity many people have great reservations about installing them in their home. While there are many advantages to having a nanny cam there are also laws and ethics that should be considered before installing one.
  How to not let your nanny cam be used against you   Nanny Cams are legal in all 50 states with a few kickers. One of the main laws regarding Nanny Cams is they cannot be placed in private areas. It is illegal to film your Nanny in spaces such as the bathroom or their private living quarters. It is best if cams are kept to common areas such as the kitchen and living room. It is also OK to have on in your young child’s bedroom. In many states it is also illegal to record video with audio without consent from the Nanny. This is the case in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Violating these laws could lead to prosecution. In addition, these recordings would likely not be able to be used as evidence if any abuse or misconduct was captured on tape.  If you decide you want a nanny cam in your house, make sure it is a beneficial tool and not something that can lead to an undesirable situation. In addition to legal issues, there are some other thoughts to consider. One recommendation is to reflect on how a nanny cam may affect the family-nanny relationship. It’s possible that if you tell the nanny there is a camera she will feel you do not trust her or that you are infringing on her privacy. The nanny may have concerns about who can watch the videos or what may happen to them. It is important to respect the professional and not share or upload videos to the internet. On the other hand, if you decide not to inform the nanny about a hidden camera it is possible she will discover it on her own. This can have a detrimental impact on the family’s relationship with your nanny.
  The Upside   Though there are premises to installing a nanny cam, if managed properly it can be a wonderful and helpful tool for your family.  Nanny Cams provide assurance and security. It is an extra pair of eyes for when you cannot be home. They are very useful to observe interactions between your family members and new people in your home. For example, how does the nanny react to your child’s bad behavior? Are they observant to your children’s individual needs? How does she treat the family dog? This type of information is very useful especially when starting out with a new nanny.  A cam is also a great tool to observe your child’s behavior from a detached point of view. You can witness his/her behavior when you are not present allowing you to be more objective of the situation and conduct. It is common for parents to be skeptical when told of temper tantrums and monumental moments.  A nanny cam lets parents watch and analyze these moments first hand and can even help bridge communication between caregiver and parents.
  Recommendations on your new Nanny Cam   It is a common recommendation and often a requirement by care agencies that you disclose the presence of a Nanny Cam in the home. This does not mean you have to show the nanny the location, just let her know that it is there. If the Nanny is uncomfortable with a nanny cam don’t assume it is because she has something to hide. Although if this is a concern maybe it is not the right nanny for your family. Another option is to only use the cam during the first couple of months the new nanny is in your home until you gain trust and a solid relationship with the caregiver. A family may draft an agreement on who can view the videos and how they will be used. The decision to have a nanny cam in your home should not be taken lightly. The presence of a cam can influence the relationship between your family and nanny. It also comes with a set of laws and responsibilities that need to be respected. As a family you should talk about a nanny cam and come to an informed decision.

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