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How to Tell If Someone Has a Nanny Cam

by Talia Kennedy

Some parents use "nanny cams," or video cameras hidden in their homes, to record a babysitter's interactions with their children. Footage from such cameras has been used to prove that sitters have been negligent and abusive to children, with criminal charges being filed in some cases. It can be difficult or impossible to identify some nanny cams because they are easily disguised in common household objects. Nanny cams also are being sold in decoy air purifiers, alarm clocks and iPod docks, among other items.

Ask the parents if they use a nanny cam in their home before you accept a babysitting job from them. This is the easiest way to know if someone has a nanny cam. In an ideal situation, the parents would disclose that they have a nanny cam, but some purposely do not because they want to record you without your knowledge. Discussing your concerns about nanny cams is the mature, responsible thing to do. Directly ask "Do you have a nanny cam in the house?" If they say no but you remain suspicious, do not work for them. Your instincts are telling you that they are not trustworthy employers.

Look for cameras hidden in piles of items, such as stuffed animals, toys, linens, bedding or papers. Some parents simply conceal a hand-held video camera in the house. Because the camera needs to be able to record a large area, check the living room first, as it is likely the largest room in the house in which you will be working.

Check everyday household objects for cameras. Because nanny cams are easily concealed in decoy products such as DVD players, lamps and cell phone adapters, a camera could be almost anywhere. Sometimes a lens is visible if you look for it, but this is not always the case.

About the Author

Talia Kennedy has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published in "The New York Times," "San Francisco Chronicle" and "The Sacramento Bee," among others. Kennedy has a master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

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