Covert CCTV Cameras
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Covert Cameras

Covert cameras, in essence, are a means of offering surveillance of an undetected or more discreet nature. Suitable for use in a broad range of internal applications, these miniature cameras have been designed and developed to provide monitoring tools that are disguised in the form of everyday commercial and domestic objects.

This ensures that they are able to blend inconspicuously into any background and consequently do not catch people’s attention. As a result, there are a number of state-of-the art products which have been introduced into the market to meet security demands, such as Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors, containing a minute camera within. These products are available in monochrome or color versions and with optional audio.

  • Covert cameras tend to be used where there is a requirement to achieve particular objectives. These tend to fall into the following categories:

  • Covert surveillance – where there is a requirement to monitor activities in a particular location, completely undetected, e.g. in areas of high security like jewelers and banks. They are also useful for back-up surveillance in installations where the primary CCTV equipment is of a more traditional nature, i.e. standard cameras. In this case Covert Cameras can operate as a back-up where primary cameras are disabled by an intruder.
  • Discreet / Unobtrusive surveillance – often there is a need for a surveillance system that is less conspicuous, not necessarily as an attempt to hide the fact that monitoring is taking place, but more for marketing or style considerations.

When introducing a covert system, it is important to recognize that access to recorded material must be kept to a minimum to ensure the privacy of individuals who may appear. A responsible policy should always be introduced to ensure that footage from covert cameras is used for the purposes it was intended. Designed to provide discrete video and audio surveillance for a wide range of internal applications.

Camera range of monochrome and color covert miniature cameras includes a choice of Passive Infrared (PIR) intruder alarm sensors and fixed domes.

Hidden cameras / Nanny cams

A Nanny Camera, (AKA) hidden camera or spy camera watching over your baby or child is an effective means for a parent to detect child abuse and child neglect. Requiring no technical knowledge to operate our Nanny Cameras deliver Peace of Mind at an affordable price. Video taping your baby or child is the only way of really seeing if they are receiving the proper care and attention they deserve while you're away.
Surveillance of your Au Pair or babysitter is not just your legal right; it's your responsibility as a parent to protect the well being of your child.

Perfect for undercover Sting Operations requiring the utmost discretion, a Nanny Camera is an affordable way to see and document how your children are treated when you are gone. You can also see if there are unauthorized persons on the premises, or you can record personnel as they perform their duties in your home or office.
You can move this unit from room to room just as you would any household electronics!.

Hidden spy cams and your childcare provider -- should you use one and how?

A hidden camera is one discreet way to assuage and alleviate concerns around your home. Parents find them especially helpful when it comes to keeping an eye on the person watching their children. But are hidden spy cams fair to those who are being watched? Do nannies have a right to know if they are being recorded? There are many compelling arguments in favor of using a hidden spy cam to record your child's caregiver. Few would disagree that the safety of a child comes first. However, is it really ethical to hide a small camera in order to spy on your nanny doing her job? Safety surveillance is not a black and white issue. Both parents and nannies have rights.

If you want to use a hidden camera to obtain video footage of your nanny at work, the best thing to do is tell her. A professional most likely won't have a problem, as long you ask for her permission. Spy cams are extremely covert -- it could be a teddy bear or in a house plant. You have the benefits of a hidden camera without the risk of losing a good nanny, should she find out and become upset about the use of spying.

A recent Arizona Central article raised an important point -- while a parent is well within their rights to want to use a hidden spy camera to view their nanny, cameras shouldn't replace thorough interviews and a background check. Even a good caregiver might regard the use of hidden cameras as an invasion of privacy. While you aren't legally bound to inform your nanny, a spy camera could create a difficult situation.

About the Author
Bob Whitehead is a successful freelance writer providing practical information and advice about video security. Click here to visit Video Surveillance today.

Nanny-Cams and our Privacy

We all have expectations of privacy in private places. But should we expect privacy in the home of another? The answer is no.

Parents and other proponents of nanny-cams argue that the installation of a hidden camera in their own home is not an invasion of privacy.

The court has agreed, in State v. Diaz, 706 A.2d 264 (1998), the leading case on this topic, the court ruled that a videotape made by a hidden camera in the residence of the parents of the child was admissible as evidence in the lawsuit against the nanny for assault and child endangerment. The court decided that since there was an absence of state action, the Constitution did not protect the nanny's privacy in someone else's house. The court also held that a videotape without sound did not violate the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, but furthermore, that sound was admissible because the parents had consented to their child being taped.

States vary on this particular issue, but most agree that a videotaping your nanny without her knowledge is perfectly legal so long as there is no sound. Audiotaping without the nanny's consent is an issue upon which the states are split.

Websites that cater to parents urge installation of these cameras, and sell them in innocent looking packages - one looks like an air purifier, another like a stuffed animal. They also recommend that you do not tell the babysitter that the camera is present on the theory that nobody will expose her true nature when she is being watched. This raises the issue of what the cameras are really for - to protect children or to prosecute the offenders. It seems that the objective for parents should be to prevent the harm from happening in the first place, instead of prosecuting it after the fact. If a parent suspects abuse, the parent should advise the babysitter about a camera rather than installing one secretly. Otherwise, it seems that the parent is allowing the harm to happen, when he or she could have prevented it, and just as culpable as the babysitter.

In a system where we do not punish for thought, only for actions, it seems inconsistent to install secret cameras without warning to those who will be videotaped. After all, we don't care whether someone refrains from committing a crime because of the threat of punishment or because of a moral value - we only care that the person refrains from committing crime. One parent suggests that you do tell the nanny she will be taped during the initial interview - if she has a problem with it, do not hire her.

One camera vendor claims that even if the criminal knows about the camera, it may not deter her. When would-be criminals know they are being taped, they are only on their best behavior for a while, and then revert to their criminal behavior.

The court's admission of nanny-cam evidence, along with the increasing popularity of nanny-cams seems to indicate the start of an alarming trend where people use hidden cameras in their houses, not just to prosecute severe criminal wrongs, but to monitor all behavior. When people watch the tapes of their nanny, most of the time they see inadequate care, not abuse. Most parents who have video surveillance are unhappy when they see how the nanny is behaving.

The question remains whether the parents should be able to use the tapes to monitor the nanny's behavior in the absence of abuse. Courts have yet to confront the situation of, for example, a nanny's wrongful discharge on the basis of a nanny-cam tape. It is unclear whether, in the absence of a criminal action, a court will uphold or deny the right to privacy.
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