Nanny Cams and the law

We all watched the CCTV footage of the domestic worker smacking the toddler, which was highlighted in the North Eastern Tribune with absolute horror. In this day and age, in most households, both parents, if there are two, work and someone needs to stay at home with the baby. We can send our children to creches, but when they are so little, home seems to be the safest place for our precious little ones. Tragically for some, home is not a haven.

If you Google nanny cams, hundreds of sites come up offering anything you can imagine. So too do websites offer tips on the best places to hide your nanny cams, in teddy bears, photo frames, smoke detectors or the fruit bowl. The questions that we need to ask though are: is it legal to film someone without their permission and is it admissible evidence in a court of law?

Constitutionally, everyone has a right to privacy, but as with any right imparted by law one person’s right needs to be weighed against another’s. You cannot set up surveillance cameras in a private home in the bathroom or where someone would ordinarily be changing their clothes. However, bedtime and bath time are two instances in which a child can be at their most vulnerable. So what should you do?

If you want to set up nanny cams then inform your childminder that there are surveillance cameras in the house. You do not need to specify where they are. We need to protect our children and this should be our ultimate concern. If you suspect that your child is being neglected or abused, take action immediately and report it to the police. Prevention is always better than cure so before you entrust the care of your children to anyone, check references, pay attention to your child’s reaction to any person and trust your gut. No child should ever be mistreated and we are all the custodians of all of our children’s safety and well-being. Enough is enough.

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