As the incidence of abuse by child caregivers has risen, so has the need to protect children from this abuse. This need has led to the development of "nanny cams," video cameras that record actions when parents are away from home. Some believe that the nanny cam has led to increased safety for their children.
The Concept of the Nanny Cam
Most nanny cams are wireless and most users opt to hide them for secret videotaping. Stores selling these cameras offer them through models in which the cameras are contained within various inconspicuous objects such as children's toys, appliances, and light fixtures. Their rise in popularity, coupled with scandals concerning child care centers, have also led many of these centers to offer taping of children's time spent in their facilities.
Although abusive caregivers represent the original reason and inspiration for the development of these cameras, the cameras offer more versatility for the homeowner. They may also tape other activities such as household cleaning or extermination. The most inexpensive camera offers image uploading for personal computers, but more expensive models enable parents to receive video feed from cameras in real time. The cameras are able to send the images to cellular phones, videocassette recorders (VCR), digital video disc players (DVD), or personal computers. Prices for these cameras range from $500 to $1,000.
Although many people assert that a child's safety must receive the highest priority, many caregivers polled in studies have expressed reservations about these systems. While most acknowledge that the practice of videotaping is acceptable many express resentment at not being informed about the taping. If you choose to use such as system, you should be aware of legal ramifications.
Throughout the United States parents may legally tape caregivers with hidden cameras; however some states prohibit secret taping of speech. You should check to make sure that your state does not prohibit taping of speech if your camera includes an audial component. Some evidence has shown that wireless videotaping may be subject to unauthorized capture. A passer-by could conceivably use a simple video cameras enable others to view and record signals received or sent by a wireless camera. These images may then be used for nefarious purposes such as burglary or kidnapping. For this reason, some experts assert that a wired camera may provide more home security.
In general, many people have found nanny cams to be useful tools in securing their homes and families in the wake of a rising rate of abuse; conversely others have found that they have unwittingly caused more liability to security problems. If you choose to use a nanny cam be sure that you are aware of laws governing secret taping.