Guest Blog - Nanny Cams! by All Service Concierge

Nanny Cameras – are they legal?

Congratulations on your upcoming newest addition to your family!  Once you are settled into your new routine, you might start thinking about the idea of hiring a babysitter. The many concerns, questions and uncertainties with the process and the idea of leaving your precious baby with a stranger leaves many families uncomfortable and filled with anxiety. Make sure you join us on Sunday, June 5th, 2016 at Ju-Ju Monkey for First Pregnancy Tea Party to hear our “Babysitting 101” presentation.  Until then, we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss with you our thoughts on Nanny Cameras.
This is a very hot topic and one that you truly need to consider carefully before installing a nanny camera in your home.  Each state has its own state laws that can affect how, when and where you are allowed to install the cameras in your residence.  The good news is that currently nanny cameras are completely legal in all 50 states.  You are not required by law to tell your babysitter that a camera is installed.  Please keep in mind, that it is illegal to videotape anyone in your home in areas which are clearly private.  As long as your hidden cameras are not installed in a bathroom or if you  have a live-in nanny in her private bedroom, you aren't committing any privacy violations.

So what is not legal in the State of PA?  Having a security/nanny video surveillance installed that records audio.   In the State of PA you must gain the consent of ALL those being recorded or else your recording will not be allowed to be utilized in the court and you could face legal consequences.  Our suggestion if you are going to utilize a video recording device that records audio is to have a written permission from your babysitter for future reference.

Do we recommend you tell your babysitter that they are being watched?  Yes! Safety and peace of mind, in your own home, is a right, but if you invite somebody into your home, they also have rights. It’s best to inform your child care provider that you have installed cameras in your home and that they may be monitored.  This will help to install trust and respect from the start.  Most babysitters are not against video surveillance in your home if they are aware of it from the beginning.  Hurt feelings occur only after the fact when the person was not aware that there are cameras in the house.  You may find yourself a perfect sitter for your family and could potentially destroy a great relationship if she finds out you were recording her without her knowledge.  The legal requirements change often, and it can be required down the road that you have to notify the sitter of any video recordings in your house. If you’re honest and direct, you can avoid hurting people’s feelings later on.

Anything else we should consider? The biggest concern we see with the Nanny cameras outside of hurt feelings and potentially losing a great child care provider is with the Wi-Fi features.  If you can watch from your phone or work computer so can you neighbor or someone who can hack into your system. Unless the camera is very sophisticated and includes some form of signal scrambling, the camera's images can be picked up quite easily from up to a quarter-mile away with very basic equipment. What worries us is that there is really no law protecting you from this interception.  It is hard to prove and current wire-tapping laws only provide protection for audio wiretapping, so quite literally anyone with the desire and $200 worth of equipment could use your own camera to spy on your house with legal impunity.

Have more questions? All Service Conicerge, LLC is here to help you!  Our team of personal assistants is here to help you with any in-home family needs.  If you are looking for a background and criminal checked sitter we are only a phone call away!  (484) 284-0763 or visit us on the web