Nanny Cam: Are You Allowed to Spy on Your Babysitter in New York?
One of the hardest things you can do as a parent is to trust your child with an absolute stranger. With high-quality cameras that are so easy to hide, is it legal to spy on the babysitter?
It's 2022 and I think all of us are aware that there are cameras everywhere. It's like we're being watched or recorded all of the time. What about being monitored in your own home? Or can you monitor someone else in your house? It is your house after all.
Hiring a babysitter is one of the most stressful things for a parent. Most people have to rely on a complete stranger to watch the most important people in their lives. Even after a good referral, drug test, or background check, how can you really be sure this person is taking care of your children?
There are all kinds of cameras available these days. Many of them are easy to hide. Are you allowed to monitor your babysitter or nanny on these cameras? What if you think they are mistreating your child or stealing, are you allowed to record them?
The Facts on Monitoring Your Babysitter
Here is what local attorney Alex Mainetti had to say about the question:
"Many people confuse the laws that apply to surveillance cameras with the laws that apply to telephone wiretapping. The laws on telephone wiretapping/recording are different than that of surveillance cameras.
Under NY Law you do not need to notify a babysitter or other guest that your home is fitted with surveillance cameras that record audio and video. Some would argue it is best practice to let the babysitter know, but it is not required by law. Video and audio recording another in your home is not a violation of their 4th amendment (right to privacy).
My advice would be to notify the babysitter that your home has cameras all over the place that record audio and video, whether it be true or not. This would likely encourage the babysitter to be on their best behavior at all times and discourage abusive or neglectful behavior. Of course having a camera or two may be nice to confirm the babysitter is indeed caring for your baby appropriately."
If you're a new parent who is looking to hire a babysitter or nanny to work in your home you may want to take this professional advice.