Mark Roman | December 4, 2020 | Florida Law
Parents concerned about their children’s welfare and safety when they are not home might consider installing a nanny cam. Nanny cams have become popular tools to monitor the activity in the home when the parents are at work or away from home.
It is understandable that parents would want to monitor their children. They want to protect them from assault and other personal injuries.
Child injuries can cause long-term disabilities and impairments. A head injury could result in cognitive and physical disabilities. Broken bones and spinal cord injuries are other common childhood injuries that can occur at home.
Even though a parent installs a nanny camera to monitor their children, there could be a question of whether it is legal to video the nanny or other people in your home.
Are Nanny Cams Legal in Florida?
You have the right to install video surveillance cameras inside your home. A nanny cam refers to video surveillance devices marketed for parents who want to monitor their nannies or babysitters. However, it can also include any type of surveillance device used for that purpose.
In addition to protecting the safety and wellbeing of their children, parents may install nanny cams with the intent of using the video as evidence if the nanny commits any wrongdoing. However, evidence obtained by illegal means is not admissible in a criminal case.
Therefore, parents who want to use nanny cams should make sure that they follow all laws related to video surveillance. When used correctly, nanny cams can be a valuable tool for parents who hire nannies or babysitters to care for their children.
Florida Laws Against Video Voyeurism
Video voyeurism is illegal in Florida. It involves using a video camera or still camera to record or transmit images of another person in a place where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, people generally expect privacy in places where they can undress without being concerned that someone might see them.
Places that you cannot install a camera include fitting rooms, bathrooms, tanning booths, and changing rooms. A violation of the video voyeurism law is a third-degree felony. A judge could impose a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence up to five years for a conviction.
The law applies to parents who want to use a nanny cam in their home. However, there are exceptions to the law that can allow parents to use nanny cams legally.
Using Your Nanny Cam Legally in Your Home
The crucial question you need to answer is whether your nanny has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the room you are using the nanny cam. For example, placing a nanny cam in the bathroom or a live-in nanny’s bedroom may violate the law because the nanny has a reasonable expectation of privacy in those rooms.
Another way to legally use a nanny cam is to gain permission from the nanny. You can discuss that the cameras are in place for everyone’s protection and that you will notify the nanny when the cameras are in use. Obtaining written consent from the nanny is preferable to verbal consent.
You can also post written warnings that video cameras are in use to reduce the risk of being accused of violating someone’s privacy. Additionally, placing the cameras in plain view also helps defeat the expectation of privacy. However, you still cannot use nanny cameras in some places, such as bathrooms.
Florida Prohibits Voice Recordings Without Consent
Some states permit voice recordings with the consent of just one party. Florida is not one of those states.
It is illegal to record someone’s voice without their permission. If you are going to recover someone’s voice, you must obtain the person’s permission before beginning the recording. There is an exception for recordings made in public where people do not have an expectation of privacy.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your nanny cam does not record audio. If you violate the law, you could be fined up to $5,000 and serve up to five years in prison. Your nanny could also file a lawsuit against you in civil court for damages.
Protecting Yourself From Liability for Illegal Nanny Cams
If you are unsure whether you are using your nanny cams legally, you might want to talk with a lawyer. You do not want to be in the position of having a criminal case against your nanny thrown out because the video evidence is not admissible. You also do not want to risk criminal charges yourself or risk being sued.
Contact the Clearwater Personal Injury Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a Personal Injury lawyer in Clearwater. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
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Clearwater, FL 33763
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Tampa, FL 33615
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New Port Richey, FL, 34655