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This week on the Open Book Blog Hop we’re talking about Nanny spying.  It’s become a huge business. Spy cams come in all shapes and sizes.  What do you think about it?

I have mixed feelings about this one, which will become apparent as you read through this blog.

Cameras are everywhere; some we can see, and some we cannot.  It’s said that the average person is caught on CCTV at least 300 times per day as they go about their normal business.  However, we can usually see these cameras  along the road, in public buildings, or in shopping centres and suchlike.  In fact here in the UK if you look up you are more likely than not to see the intrusive eye of a camera, and you don’t have to drive very far at all before you either see a speed camera or the sign that one is coming up.  I am of the opinion that CCTV cameras are there to dissuade people from committing crimes, and in general speed cameras are on our roads to make drivers slow down in accident black spots.  So it appears that cameras we can plainly see are a good thing, just as long as they are not put there for the sole purpose of gaining extra revenue.

I worry about the cameras we cannot see, as in my opinion these are an intrusion into a person’s privacy. In the past I have been filmed without my knowledge during my husband’s struggle with porn addiction, and I must say that the resultant feelings of anger and of being violated are very real.  I transferred my experience onto Frances, my protagonist in The Porn Detective.  Like her, furious and out for revenge, I decided that if my husband could made covert recordings of me, then two could play at that game.  Not having the know-how to erect and wire up a secret camera in his office (in the days before modern wire-free devices which plug into a computer), I used a hidden voice recorder instead to obtain proof that my husband was as porn-free as he stated.  I must say that to play back the grim evidence and watch his face fall was extremely satisfying; in fact I’d go as far as to say that it was one of the most satisfying moments of my life!  We were eventually reconciled through counselling and the fact that both of us wanted to save our marriage, but to this day even though hidden filming is wrong,  I am grateful I used the voice recorder to bring my husband’s problem out into the open.

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Counselling reinforced the fact to us that covert spying of your spouse is to be avoided, and shows a lack of trust.  I was informed that it’s best to sort out marital problems by communication.  My opinion is that it was right for me at the time, and I’d do it again if I have to.  Thankfully I haven’t had to for over five years now, and our troubles are definitely in the past.

I have read that many working parents now use hidden cameras to check on their children’s child-minder/nanny.  I think in this day and age it’s probably a good thing if the parent has any doubts and the child is too small to speak.  I never needed to do this myself, as (i) that sort of technology was not widely known about when my sons were small, and (ii) I looked after the boys myself until I went back to work when the youngest was 10, and only left them with trusted family members.  However, porn issues aside, if I was a recent new parent now with any doubts about my baby’s nanny, then I would probably either go with my gut instincts and either dispense with her services or check out one of the hidden cameras below.  If my baby is being abused, then I need to know about it.

Just for research for this blog, I looked online at Amazon for secret cameras.  I was surprised to find that they can be hidden inside clocks, calculators, memory sticks, pens, watches, keyrings, and even a smiley face badge!  Nobody knows these days if they’re being recorded, or by whom.  It’s a little scary, don’t you think?  As I said at the beginning, I have mixed feelings about covert recording as it helped me when I needed it most, but then again filming or recording somebody without their knowledge is definitely wrong.  However, one thing I can say in this day and age; Big Brother is watching us so we had better be good!

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What does Lela Markham think about spy cams?  You can find out by visiting her blog page here https://aurorawatcherak.wordpress.com/

Lela Markham is the pen name of an Alaskan novelist who was raised in a home of books. Alaska is a grand adventure like none other with a culture that embraces summer adventure and winter artistic pursuits.

Lela has been a journalist, worked in the mental health field, and currently works for the State of Alaska, but her avocation has always been storytelling.  You can find out about her books by clicking here. http://www.amazon.com/Lela-Markham/e/B00OQWYP68/

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