Sunday

Stored Record

OPINION
How can you tell if your employer is recording you? During my interview I requested that I be informed of any such devices. I was ok with not knowing the exact locatation. Anyway I have the feeling I'm being recorded. How do I find out without asking them?

41 comments:

OhhPlease said...

What makes you think that they are recording you? Do they know things about your day without you telling them? Do you feel like they are recording your inappropriately like in the bathroom? Or just recording you in general?

Susannah said...

What makes you think they are recording you? Just curious.

Lyn said...

Hon, I have this consistent paranoia that my families are recording me in some way all the time. I don't know if it's one of those things that Nanny's just wonder about all the time or if I am one of the few who think about it at all. Don't get me wrong it's not a fear of being recorded, more of a curiosity on my part. I don't believe that there are any laws stating that employers must let employees know if they are being recorded but I'd love to hear from someone with more insight on this topic.

I need a break said...

I just started working with a new family and they have a camera. When I interviewed they had said by law they have to tell me there is a camera and where it is. It's the first time in twenty years of doing this that I have ever been recorded. I've been with them for two months and I'm still not comfortable going there. If I knew how it was going to make me feel I wouldn't of accepted the position. By the way I'm from Illinois and their law is you have to be made aware of the cameras.

dsub said...

Why do you need to know? Just assume you are being recorded -- I always do.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Yes, what makes you think you are being recorded? If they seem like they know things about your day that they wouldn't know otherwise, then I would assume so. Since you asked during the interview if you could be notified of any such devices and they told you they didn't have any, yet still recorded you anyway, I would quit. This would show that your current family is dishonest and deceptive and who on earth would want to work for a family like that???!

However, if you have just an inkling that you are being recorded but no proof, there really is no way to know for sure. Oh yeah...you could flash the walls in each room and next time you see them, see if they have trouble making eye contact. That should answer your question.

Wait...what??

nycmom said...

I need a break,

Your new family is wrong unless they are referring to recording audio also.

Recording video, hidden or not, is legal in all 50 states:

http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/babysitternanny-camera-legality.html

and for a summary of the case law:

http://www.safetybasement.com/Nanny-Cam-Spy-Laws-s/386.htm

The same federal wiretapping laws that apply to recording phone calls apply to nanny cams as you can give implied consent for your child so that is one party "consenting" to the recording. I have read a list of anywhere from 12-15 two party states that require both party notification (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington State). However, if you go to wiki's "telephone recording laws" page (don't want to post too many links because they sometimes won't post) you will see that Illinois is one of the debatable states and may be a one party if challenged in court.

Yes, this means in all the other states anyone (excepting unusual situations) can record a phone call with you without your knowledge. Just a bit of advice: if legal, record all important calls! Not with friends and not to be intrusive. But if you are talking with a business, bank, finalizing terms of employment, etc -- you will have proof. So when the bank insists they never agreed to reverse a fee, you'll have proof. Cause I guarantee even though they say they record all calls, they will never be able to find them if it doesn't serve their purpose. It can only help you.

Anyway, you cannot tell for sure if you are being recorded. Period. Anyone who is savvy with computers and electronics can use a built in webcam and password the computer or easily hide the camera. You can google images and search the house, but to what end? I agree with others, just assume you are being recorded and behave accordingly. I understand all the stuff about not wanting every nose pick or silly face recorded, but honestly, recordings are really boring and long to watch. Employers have no interest in that stuff. We fast forward just to make sure there is no abuse/neglect. And most of us lose interest after a week or two of establishing trust with a new nanny. We do not have the time to watch nor interest in the rest. I am always recorded at work and it's now become such that I never even think about it.

I need a break said...

When my employers hired me they said they are not recording me throughout the day. It is rather more of a webcam so that they can check in periodically. They also said that they aren't listening in. Whether or not they are I don't know. I do know where the camera is and avoid that room as much as possible. Not that I've ever done anything wrong it just makes me uncomfortable. Also nycmom, both parents are attorneys so I would assume they are informed of the laws.

NannyPants said...

How can you find out without asking them? Umm...I dunno OP we aren't magicians. Maybe look around for devices? What are you so worried about anyway? Do your job as it should be done and you'll be fine.

nycmom said...

I Need a Break,

Then regardless of what they told you, they are in fact recording sound. There is zero debate that hidden and undisclosed nanny cams without audio are legal in all 50 states. Be careful.

luckoftheirish said...

There are devices you can purchase which will alert to recording devices. GL

Truth Seeker said...

LOL @2Cents. That just might work.

NannyCA said...

Ok I've been reading these comments and even some on other posts mentioning the use of cameras on this site and I'm just going to say it since I can be anonymous here because I haven't seen anyone else mention this -

I'm a nanny and to my knowledge haven't been recorded although I always behave as if I am and not because of the cameras, but because I'm good with kids, good at my job, and feel like I shouldn't have to hide anything I do.

HOWEVER! If i KNEW they were going to record me, I wouldn't work for them. If I've ever been recorded, I guess I'm not doing anything the people don't like since I've never been fired and all my jobs have been between 2 to 4 years long but here's what I haven't seen mentioned here - what about things like if you have to pass gas? LOL I mean really, it happens. What if you have an itch in a "funny" place and don't want that recorded? What if you need to adjust your bra? What if you get a phone call, or need to make a phone call that's important but kind of private in some way?

My take on the whole camera thing is you either trust me, or you don't. And if you DON'T, then why on earth would you leave me with your kids in the first place and then watch what happened AFTER the fact? Doesn't do much good once the damage has been done. It's kind of like using your kids as experiments. If you need/want to work and not stay home with your children, you need to establish trust BEFORE you leave them with someone else.

That's how I see it anyway. I would quit if I found out I was being taped. It's rude and I don't care if it's legal, it's invasion of privacy in my opinion. I would feel awkward and annoyed the whole day and not be able to adequately loosen up and have fun with the kids or do my job the way I should anyway.

luckoftheirish said...

Although one may understandably feel uncomfortable with the idea of a nanny cam, it may become a very valuable asset!

If a nanny is accused of:

1.)Abuse
2.)Neglect
3.) Theft

How can she prove her innocence? Hopefully the home is equipted with cameras, to assist her in proving her total & complete innocence. There are few things more frustrating than being accused of something that you did not/would not do & having no way to prove your innocense.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I think if a Nanny was accused of abuse or neglect the burden would be on the accuser to PROVE the allegations. Usually the burden of proof does not fall on the person accused.

I agree with you NannyCA. Well stated.

nycmom said...

NannyCA,

I've said it before (exactly), but I will say it again for you as you might be a new user and asked why we would leave our kids with someone we did not completely trust and use a nanny cam to assess behavior ...

I believe using a nanny cam for the first 1-2 weeks of employing a new nanny, if your kids are too young to be accurate reporters, is responsible parenting. No matter how much we all want to believe we are a perfect judge of character and references never lie, this just isn't reality.

I think it would be crazy to assume you can trust a stranger - even a well-vetted stranger - with your children with no oversight. After the first 1-2 weeks, I'd get rid of the camera as THEN I would feel I could trust my caregiver. I've seen too many videos and heard too many stories of abuse from nannies who came with glowing references and clean background checks.

I also don't want to keep nanny camming on an ongoing basis and creating a home environment of surveilling my nanny. I just want to visually ascertain basic decent childcare and establish trust. I vehemently believe a parent would be crazy to trust ANY hired caregiver without some direct observation. I've been fooled. I have friends who have been fooled. Every parent with a terrible nanny cam video has been fooled (and I think we have all, sadly, seen more than enough of these horrible videos in the news). Most parents of the sitings on here have been fooled. It would be hubris for me to think I was infallible in the hiring process.

Also, I'm filmed at my job everyday during every patient interaction. I have absolutely NO problem with this. I work with a vulnerable population, similar to young children, and believe it would be irresponsible for the hospital to not be watching.

I know, given this is a 95% nanny site, that most nannies disagree. Please be aware that most parents truly do not care about small things like nose-picking. Decent employers screen only for physical abuse and obvious neglect, not for nitpicky details.

Aletheia said...

nycmom,

I completely agree with you. I am comfortable with nanny cams being used in just the way you described. I would even be ok with it for the first month of a new position. If it goes any longer than that, I think it ventures more into a suspicious and hostile environment. Also, at the end of that period of using a nannycam, I think the employers should sit down with the nanny and tell her about it, and tell her how they are so pleased with her work that they no longer feel the need for a camera and have taken it down. I think this route gives the parent peace of mind, and shows the nanny that she has their respect.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

@nycmom:

If you were to film a nanny in your home, don't you think it would be best to offer full disclosure prior?

Starting a Nanny/Parent relationship off in a deceptive manner will not bode well for either party.

If things deteriorate, then you only would have yourself to blame.

Would you use a nanny-cam on a nanny from a reputable agency??

Aletheia said...

nycmom,

I completely agree with you. I am comfortable with nanny cams being used in just the way you described. I would even be ok with it for the first month of a new position. If it goes any longer than that, I think it ventures more into a suspicious and hostile environment. Also, at the end of that period of using a nannycam, I think the employers should sit down with the nanny and tell her about it, and tell her how they are so pleased with her work that they no longer feel the need for a camera and have taken it down. I think this route gives the parent peace of mind, and shows the nanny that she has their respect.

Fiona said...

In general I don't have a problem with a nanny cam in general.

If you fine you are being recorded in this situation I would leave as they blatantly chose to mislead you.

That does not bode well with me.

Fiona said...

Nycmom,
What happens after 1 or 2 weeks?
That's not exactly a long period of time and a person could easily behave themselves for that long.

Either you cam or you don't.

nycmom said...

Amy Darling,

No, as I have said many times, I do not feel disclosure is the best path. I feel it defeats the purpose. I want to observe my nanny when she is not on her best behavior. I believe someone evil enough to abuse a child would still be abusive in areas where they knew they weren't being recorded such as playrooms and outside. I want an unadulterated view into her behavior in a place she feels unobserved and private.

Yes, I would use a nanny cam on every new nanny if I had a child too young to accurately communicate with me. My kids are older now so I no longer would use it at all.

I am completely at ease morally, interpersonally and legally with the concept of the "deception" involved in an undisclosed nanny cam. If the nanny in question somehow discovered the camera during those 1-2 weeks and quit, then so be it. That is the trial period and we just found out we were not compatible. I would move on and repeat the process.

Fiona,

Yes, they could easily behave themselves. But I don't disclose the cam nor the length of observation. It is strictly for me to be sure there is no obvious neglect or abuse of an infant or toddler. I believe an evil person will be unable to maintain the facade for 45 hours/week x 1-2 weeks. There will be obvious signs if she is treating my children poorly during that time. I've been lucky enough to see nothing like this so far and after watching the videos, I am so glad I used a nanny cam. I could be at peace knowing my nanny was an attentive, loving person to my child.

OceanBlue said...

I think cams are a false sense of security.

They don't prevent a child from being abused or neglected. It's already taken place by the time the parent watches the tape.

Fiona said...

I'm glad you've never found out you've hired a terrible nanny.

But if it were me I would stick with the cam a bit longer.

notsmiling said...

It seems like I was right.
I found it today. I just had a feeling and my feelings are usually acurate.

I don't have a problem working in a home with a cam or audio recorder. I just like to be told in advance.

I wouldn't even have minded if they told me they weren't comfortable revealing that information or something like that.

But the flat out said they didn't.

It's not like I'm new either.

Oh well they just lost themselves a good nanny.

notsmiling said...

@nycmom,
I suspect your employers told you upfront you were being filmed.

I also suspect you wouldn't be so non chalant about it if you weren't told and discovered the camera on your own.

nycmom said...

notsmiling,

No, I was not aware of the cameras for a long time. I don't know if they were "hidden" or if it the info was somewhere in the standard hospital contract I didn't entirely read, but I did not know for quite a while.

When I found out, I was happy. Pleased that the people who care for vulnerable patients (myself included) have some accountability. I have seen bad care. I have seen bad nanny cam footage. Thankfully, these cams exist to prevent many future acts of neglect or violence.

Ocean Blue said...

But once is all it takes.

I guess then you have evidence for trial...


OP, where did you find the camera?


Are you really going to quit?

nycmom said...

OceanBlue,

Yes, you have seen and failed to prevent the abuse you saw on cam. However, you seem to be glossing over the fact that you then prevent many additional episodes of abuse/neglect that your child would have suffered from said deceptive nanny.

Plus, you may be able to help many other kids if she is prosecuted and put on watch lists, criminal hx.

You are absolutely correct. A nanny cam will NOT prevent ANY abuse. It will allow you to catch it very, very early. To me the choice in that case would be: minimal or ongoing abuse. I pick the former for my kids.

Fiona,

I appreciate your perspective. But for me, continuing to record a nanny I trusted would make me feel uncomfortable.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

notsmiling:

How did you find the camera? Did you go snooping around? I think if any Nanny just THINKS she is being filmed, then she probably is. Instincts should never be ignored.

This family deceived you OP and you are right on leaving them. How dare they breach your trust like that????!

FYI: As a Nanny, if I REALLY had a desire to mistreat a child (which I never would), I would find a way to do so awaay from the cameras. I mean, I would abuse them in the bathroom, my car, even at the restrooms in the library or park. A nanny-cam will NOT eradicate child abuse. It will only create hostility and feelings of betrayal on the side of the Nanny.

Xyz said...

Hot!!!!!

Phoenix said...

I honestly don't think that you should have an opinion on it. If you know you are being recorded what is the point?

Phoenix said...

notsmiling


I don't understand how you found the camera. Were you snooping for it? How do you know that is the camera? How do you know its even connected to anything and turned on?

notsmiling said...

Phoenix I just had a feeling at first, and normally when I have a feeling about things I'm right.

Well, mom asked me about a song I sing to the boys.

Now the kids are a sleep when I get there in the morning and asleep when mom & dad return, there's no other household staff. These kids don't talk yet so they didn't tell her.

Well the the other day I went looking and found a camera in the playroom and bedroom. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more.

notsmiling said...

I quit. I briefly debate if I should give them a few weeks notice but decided against.


I have no problem with a nanny cam in general.

But they flat out lied about it.

I've been with them for sometime now. You either trust me by this point or you don't.

DC nanny said...

As a nanny, I think nycmom has the best approach. I wouldn't want to work in a place where I was being recorded all the time. It would make me uncomfortable and I wouldn't ever feel like I was able to relax.

However, I think it's absolutely the right thing to do as a parent to tape your nanny (without telling her) for the first few weeks if your child is nonverbal. As the nanny, I might even feel slightly offended by it if I found out it was done to me, but that doesn't matter one bit. Because underneath it all, I would understand. Safety is always the first priority, and let's face it, instincts are not always right. Some people have the ability to come across as wonderful and trustworthy, when that is not the case.

But after that initial period, and after the nanny has earned that trust, the cameras should go. OP, I would feel upset too if I was in your shoes. Did you tell MB why you quit?

OceanBlue said...

I still don't understand the line of thinking expressed by some of you to film for a few weeks.

Then toss the camera after a few because it's not at all possible a nanny will abuse or neglect after that period

In my opinion that's most likely when the abuse will start.

Is your goal no longer to make sure your child is in good hands?

It just seems like a half-ass atempt at due dilligence. Like if later the baby gets tossed down the stairs you can say well we watched her for two weeks and she was awesome we don't know what went wrong.

OceanBlue said...

Also Phoenix I disagree that a nanny doesn't have the right to an opinion on being filmed or not.

NowI don't think she can tell her employers not to have a camera, but I think it's her right to decide if she wants to work where she is being filmed.

Bethany said...

I'm on the fence with this.

I understand why a parent would want a camera.

But, I tend to agree that it does little to prevent abuse/neglect only catch it.

If you wanted to prevent your best bet would be to inform of a camera. Doing do would most likely keep away the crazy nannies and eicit the best behavior from borderline people.

Cameras can have a positive benefit too, parents can see their kids in action during the day.

Bethany said...

I can empathize with the OP.

I've found cameras in places that I've worked at for more than a few week.

I didn't quit, but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I think you should quit right on the spot OP. Well first, get whatever $$ is owed you, then walk out.

This family purposely deceived you and lied to your face. They are dishonest people who do not value you as a human being.

People who secretly film others are just plain sick individuals. Period.