Is it wrong to ask owners if they have cameras in the home?

Often while I am in a owners home I wonder if they have cameras we don’t know about. It isn’t that we are doing anything wrong but it feels like an invasion of private moments if there is and we don’t know about it. Still, We feel awkward asking this question of owners. We have only noticed one listing we applied for which clearly stated there were no cameras. Please let us know what you all think.

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This question has been evoked on a thread last october. You may find same topics if you use the magnifyer and write down “camera”. Angela answered us.


Angela-CommunityManager

JnJn

14d

Hi @JnJn welcome to the Forum

You ask a great question and one that is very topical, owners are obliged to mention any inclusion of cameras in their listing so that there is complete transparency with sitters being aware before they apply or confirm but as with everything about arranging a pet and house sit it’s all about communication, dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s so that everyone is completely happy, having a check list is an excellent idea and of course requesting the completed Welcome Guide from owners.

(…)
Angela and the Team

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Hiya, we have cameras outside covering the yard/drive and they are mentioned in our Welcome pack. Personally as an owner I would not be happy having cameras anywhere and not telling sitters about them…And I would not be at all bothered if a sitter asked me about cameras in the house…>

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That is great to know. Thank you for answering.

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I have sat in homes with indoor cameras and listening devices such as Nest thermostats. I knew about the former ahead of time but not the latter. I was taken aback when the latter homeowner mentioned in a text something I had said earlier to the dog (nothing bad) without having let me know that she was going to be listening in on me and her pets.

Now I always ask “do you have any active security devices in your home?”. I preface that by saying I’d learned the hard way that I need to ask.

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Think its untrustworthy doing this

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Hi @OnTheGlobalRoad according to the Code Of Conduct owners need to reveal any video or audio recording devices on their listing. The technology is readily available and sitters need to have full disclosure on it’s presence before they apply and before an arrangement is agreed by both parties, it’s a condition of the sit and providing there is full transparency then sitters have the choice of whether to apply or not.

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Thanks Angela. I don’t think Nest devices record what they hear, they just allow the owner to listen in real time. I could be wrong on that. In any case, I’ve learned to ask before agreeing to a sit!

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I don’t think there is anything wrong about asking about inside cameras and we are on the “owners” section of THS. I would not want to spend an extended period of time at a place if I thought there were cameras everywhere. It’s a totally understandable privacy issue. We do not ask our sitters to tolerate inside cameras, ever. On the other hand, if security might be an issue, I don’t think that outside cameras should be an issue. If I was in a strange environment, I would probably appreciate outside cameras.

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I think here in Australia having undisclosed cameras would likely be a breach of the law (happy to be convinced otherwise).

We recently installed a security camera to cover one of the garden gates that is not visible from the house. Codes etc will certainly be disclosed to our next sitter!

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Terry do you warn your sitters before being asked ?
It’s not fashionable in France to have cameras (and against the law for employees inside a private home).
We were told they were outside caméras once we arrived for a one month sit in Costwolds I forgot to ask how long they would keep the vidéos.
Owners could notice when we went out, came back, gave food to the chicken. We were not used to that although we had nothing to hide. My husband once peed in the garden and felt misérable to have been seen doing it…

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I always ask about cameras and alarm systems during my initial call with the homeowner. I am comfortable with outdoor cameras, but like to know that they are there in advance for privacy issues. I sometimes have to take the pups out for a quick pee late at night or early in the morning in my robe.

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Provence, actually, we only had our outside cameras up for a short period of time to try to see what wildlife was walking across our driveway. If they were a permanent feature, we would absolutely tell any sitters about them and give them the option to keep them running or turn them off.

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Yes here too in the UK this would be a breach of privacy and not allowed unless the sitters agreed. Even when people have them outside the camera must not point into someone else’s property. It’s a def ‘no go’ for me. But they may have cameras to keep an eye on their pets when they are normally just out - I would want to be convinced the camera was turned off whilst I was in situ.

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We have cameras on our property .
They are pretty good and there not pointing into others property.
They are mainly for us if we our away.
We get alerts if someone enters our garden.
The thought of someone listening and watching inside their property.
Is not very nice

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I use an app called Fing to find all devices connected to a wifi (including hidden cameras). We have sat for a couple different homeowners who had hidden cameras (they had said they didn’t have them during the interview and on our initial walk-through).
Based on this, in both cases I turned the cameras around to face the wall. You may want to google the camera to see if it is capable of recording audio as well.

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Thank you .
Hubby looking for it now :grinning:

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That is excellent advice. This is exactly what I am concerned about. It is too bad that people would lie about it when you ask!

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Australian surveillance laws only restrict institutions and organisations. An individual may generally install surveillance cameras anywhere on their property.

However, the surveillance cameras might be in contravention of other laws. For example, it would be a criminal offence for a person to install a surveillance camera where it captured people (neighbours or house guests) in circumstances where they had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

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Yes, it is. One of them noticed within a couple hours the cameras were turned around and called about it. One of them was centered on a cabinet with expensive contents so they asked me to turn that one back around. We left the other one off. It still turned out well, we got a 5 star review still but it is still not nice to find them.

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