Let us get the disclaimers out of the way first. We are not attorneys.This article should be used only as a guide to help you ask the right questions when seeking professional legal advice and should never be used in place of such advice.
Are nanny cams legal? Every state allows for some video-only recording of anything happening inside your home (even the hidden kind). Hidden cameras that only capture video are typically legal. However, there are a few legal restrictions on nanny camera surveillance that you may not know about. Local laws, audio recordings, and the reason for the video recording are factors to consider.
What is the Reason for Hidden Recordings?
No, hidden cameras cannot be used for the purpose of voyeurism – secretly recording people disrobed without their consent – or to capture other privacy invasive activities. It is illegal to use nanny cams in this way. However, if your purpose for nanny cams is for surveillance, protection from abuse, and the like, then a nanny cam is probably legal in your home.
Audio Recording: Often not allowed
Nanny cam recordings with audio and video require additional research. Many states have wiretapping laws, and it’s illegal to record audio in a surreptitious way, i.e. a secret recording device. Recording audio in many states require consent of the party being recorded or else the audio recording is illegal.
Many nanny cams do not record audio for the sake of being cautious, however some do record audio. Our line of nanny cams make you aware of cameras with audio recording features so you are not surprised to find you purchased a device that your state doesn’t allow (you know to disable the audio function before using it).
If you live in any of the following states, take special care not to use a nanny cam with audio: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
Is Evidence From Nanny Cams Admissible in Court?
Courts are not guaranteed to allow footage from a nanny cam to be used as evidence in a case, however many are admitting secret nanny cam recordings. The biggest hangup is the issue of secrecy: If someone is videotaped without his or her knowledge, potential legal concerns arise that might prevent the videos from being admitted.
Examples of other issues that can render the video inadmissible:
- You live in a state that requires consent.
- Your nanny-cam video has audio in a state with strict wiretapping laws.
- Events on video are not clear enough.
If you want to make the best of your home surveillance system you must know your state’s laws on nanny cameras or speak to an experienced attorney in your area. If you ever need your footage as evidence, you’ll want to make sure it was captured in a legal manner.
Get the Answers
If you are unsure about the legal restrictions in the area you plan to use a nanny cam, seek professional legal advice. This article alone will not give you all the information you need to understand your specific situation, but we hope this article will give you some insight and will help you ask an attorney helpful questions. You want to make the most of your purchase so it can protect when it is needed!