In my article on the best nanny cams, people always ask about whether or not they should tell their nanny about the nanny camera. This is a decision that you need to seriously think about. Not only are there legal considerations to consider but there are ethical ones as well.
You have to decide if your purpose is to catch the nanny doing something wrong or if your purpose is to prevent anything from being done wrong. Your purpose will effect your decision.
To Tell Or Not To Tell? Ethical Considerations In Disclosing Your Nanny Cam
Installing a home monitoring system does not have to be something out of a spy novel. It can be a great benefit. Many nanny cams have software that goes with them that allows you to view the camera even when you are away from home. If you disclose that you have a home monitoring system to your nanny she can work with you to show you special moments that are happening when they are happening.
Of course protecting your children is another primary reason for installing a nanny cam. Too many children are hurt and abused by caregivers. Sometimes checking references and doing background checks are not enough. A hidden camera can catch a bad nanny before something tragic happens.
The Case For Full Disclosure
In many cases parents are comfortable disclosing that they have a surveillance system in their home. They feel that by disclosing a camera system, that it will prevent not only abuse, but excessive texting, TV watching, or slacking on other duties.
Some people feel that revealing a nanny cam is just the right thing to do.
Consider this. What if your nanny spills something on her shirt or your baby spits up on her. She decides to change her shirt in the living room or the baby's room and it is caught on camera. That would not be right.
If she knew that there was a nanny cam, she would go to the bathroom to change her shirt. You would want to know if you were being recorded in that type of situation.
To Keep A Secret Or Not
While some parents choose to inform their nanny about the surveillance, others do not. The only benefit of not disclosing your camera is that you can catch a nanny in the act of bad behavior. You have to decide what is more important to you. To catch or protect.
If you catch a nanny in bad behavior you have evidence to prosecute and prevent the nanny from behaving badly with other people's kids, but you haven't really protected your kids from abuse.
If you do not disclose the nanny cam, then you don't have to worry about the nanny taking your children out of view of the camera to do the abuse. However if you have a good or honest nanny and she discovers the secret surveillance, trust will be broken, the relationship damaged, and she may decide to work for more honest parents.
Legal Considerations In Recording A Nanny
If you are thinking about telling your nanny about the camera just because of legal ramifications, you can be at rest. It is legal to record surveillance video in all 50 states. However if your camera records audio then you must disclose the recording in these states.
- New Hampshire
Should You Tell Your Nanny About The Nanny Camera?
As you can see the decision on whether or not you should tell your nanny about the nanny cam is not as easy as first thought. Personally when I asked myself "should I tell my nanny about the nanny cam", the decision came down to her personal privacy. I don't believe it is ever right to record someone changing clothes or in a compromising situation like that.
What do you think? What are some of the ethical considerations you have considered when asking yourself the question?