However, buying a smart home camera such as a Nest, is one thing, as long as you’re using it for protection against burglars and similar issues. Buying a camera which you will be using to monitor and watch a caregiver or a nanny, on the other hand, is a whole different manner.
There are a lot of considerations there, such as legality, as well as that camera impacting your relationship with the nanny.
If you do decide to get one, after all, you’ll need to make the choice between buying an obvious one, or a hidden nanny cam. So, which one is better? Do you install a camera while your nanny is out of the house, or are you completely upfront? Let’s take a look at a few considerations.
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The first thing to know is the laws in your specific area
Installing a home security camera in your own home is perfectly legal in any state in the US. However, what you can actually record varies from state to state. The audio recording laws are also very different from the video recording ones. There’s also a whole different set of rules for recording in a retirement community or a nursing home.
For starters, you might want to take a look at the law in your area. If you aren’t sure about something, a criminal defense attorney might be able to help you out. Violation of those laws is a crime, so a criminal defense attorney should be well informed on what to do, and they’ll tell you if you’re inadvertently doing something you shouldn’t be.
You should also pay attention to common sense, too
We’re talking about privacy. There are privacy laws, and when a home security camera is concerned, there’s something that’s known as “the expectation to a right of privacy”. Basically, whoever is in your home, there are areas where they expect some privacy. Common sense suggests that these areas are the bathroom, as well as any place where they might be changing clothes, such as a live-in caregiver’s bedroom.
Therefore, even though having cameras in your living room or kitchen, or in your home’s yard, is absolutely fine, setting one up where people expect privacy is very likely to get you in trouble. Whether you go for a hidden nanny cam, or a visible one, do keep this in mind.
What are you trying to do with your nanny cam?
The answer to this question will be what impacts your decision on the “hidden vs visible” debate. When we’re talking about a nanny cam, your goal is to either prove that something bad is happening in your home, or to prevent that.
Let’s say, for example, you suspect that your nanny is stealing from that jewelry box you have next to the TV in your living room. If you put a camera there, and let your nanny know that you’re recording, whatever’s going on will most likely stop. This somewhat defeats the purpose, and you won’t be able to prove that something’s going on. On the other hand, if you put a hidden camera and conceal it from the nanny, you might very well catch him or her in the act, and you’ll also have video evidence as well.
On the other hand, the goal might be to simply prevent any kind of problem while you’re not around. In this case, you can put cameras all around your home, abiding by the law, and let your nanny know. If you’re getting a new nanny, you might tell him or her before they begin working. In this case, it’s not that you don’t trust them, you just have peace of mind when you’re not around. A good nanny will understand this, and you won’t have any issues.
The respectful thing to do is to be upfront
When you have a nanny, the relationship you have with him or her is extremely important. Now, think about what would happen to that same relationship if your nanny, who thinks you trust them, finds out that you’ve been secretly watching them for as long as they’ve been working for you. That trust will fall apart, and many nannies would even quit their job if they find out something like this.
However, what if you were to tell them that you have cameras in your home when you’re hiring him or her? What if they know what they’re getting into? Cameras are there to prevent anything from happening in your home, and if a nanny knows they’re there, they have another reason to do their best. If you’re upfront, the nanny understands that the cameras aren’t there due to lack of trust, but due to peace of mind. This is a completely different thing, and as we mentioned, any good nanny that is comfortable in their job won’t have a problem with this.
The decision on whether to have your cameras be visible or hide them is completely up to you. However, as we mentioned, legal implications might have an impact on your decision, and so will the relationship with your nanny.
If laws do allow that, our suggestion would be to go with a hidden nanny cam. There are a lot of options on the market nowadays, and you can surely find one that fits your needs and requirements. However, if you want to show respect to your nanny, do let them know that you have cameras in place. They shouldn’t mind it, as they can still do their job, and you’ll be able to check whether everything is okay with your loved one. The best of both worlds.