“Granny cams” are back in the spotlight with a recently proposed South Carolina bill, “Electronic Monitoring of a Resident’s Room in a Long-Term Care Facility.” Texas was the first state to pass a “granny cam” law, and its provisions are the basis for most other state regulations. Several other states, including Oklahoma, have already passed similar regulations. According to The Post and Courier, this bill was introduced after Senator Paul Thurmond found out about Oklahoma’s regulation.
The South Carolina bill would require LTC facilities to provide notice to current and prospective residents or their representatives that electronic monitoring of a resident’s room is permitted. The resident or representative needs to give consent to the monitoring. However, the bill notes that installation of an electronic monitoring device does not require the consent of another resident in the same room and that the camera can only be focused on one resident at a time. Anyone guilty of tampering with the recording device or who assists another person to avoid being caught can be punished by fines that range from jail time to monetary fines.
Proponents of using electronic monitoring argue that residents will be provided with better quality of life and feel safer. Those who criticize the use of security cameras are mostly concerned about privacy, but there is also concern for staff feeling not at ease when providing care because they feel like they are being watched.