South Carolina is joining a group of states in a recent trend regarding legislation addressing hidden cameras. Sometimes referred to as “granny cams,” devices are placed inside nursing homes, and are designed to capture potential abuse of residents.
The legislation, such as in other states, was inspired by at least one reported instance of nursing home abuse being captured on hidden camera. A woman contacted a private investigator about placing a video camera in a nursing home, due to her suspicions that her 101-year-old grandfather was being abused, but because he was so frail, the man couldn’t talk about it. After consulting with attorneys regarding potential privacy concerns, the private investigator placed the small camera next to the resident’s bed, at such an angle so as to limit the capturing of his roommate. There was also no sound recording, so as to limit the potential recording of private conversations.
The footage allegedly depicted a nursing home worker hitting and taunting the elderly man as he lay in bed. The employee was later arrested.
The case inspired a South Carolina state senator to introduce a bill addressing families’ rights to use electronic surveillance to monitor the care of their loved ones.