It's not illegal to own a nanny cam, but how you use it is another story.
It’s important to know when nanny cams are considered illegal and how you can record happenings in your home legally without breaching the trust of your caregiver.
Surveillance and privacy laws differ between states and territories, but generally speaking, nanny cams are illegal when . . .
If you’re going to set up a nanny cam in your home, hidden or otherwise, don’t put it in areas where your nanny or anyone else has a reasonable expectation of privacy like bathrooms or bedrooms.
It is legal to record video (and that means only video, no audio) in common areas of your property (like the kitchen or lounge room) as long as your intent isn't malicious (i.e. your aim is to protect your family or property) and that recordings are kept private unless required by relevant authorities as evidence.
Every state and territory in Australia has laws on the books prohibiting the use of a listening device (like a nanny cam) to record private conversations without the consent of all people involved. The only exceptions are Victoria and Queensland, which allow one-party consent as long as that person is participating in the private conversation. Furthermore in Victoria, it is legal to record a conversation in which you are not participating, as long as you obtain consent from at least one person who is.
If you’ve ever heard “this conversation may be recorded for quality assurance purposes” before a phone call, that disclaimer comes from these same laws.
These consent laws also restrict publishing and showing unauthorised recordings obtained by hidden devices.
Essentially, that means you need consent from anyone who enters your property (including nannies, tradespeople, cleaners and any other contracted workers) to record audio in your home. This can come in the form of a sign, a line in a worker's contract, or a simple conversation.
These rules aren’t just about your relationship with your kids’ caretaker. If you don’t follow the laws in your area, any footage you record might not hold up in court, or worse, the person on camera could sue you.