The state of Illinois moved one step closer to allowing families to place hidden cameras or “granny cams” in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to monitor their loved ones.
The bill passed by a narrow margin in both the House and State Senate, and now head’s to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk for approval. If he signs the bill and it becomes law, it would require that families pay for the cost of the camera, as well as for internet access so that they can monitor the camera’s in real time.
While this law details out the requirements for internet-streaming hidden cameras, it does not mention anything specific about self-recording hidden cameras, which do not stream over the internet, nor use an internet connection to operate.
If the bill becomes law, it will also require that signs be posted at the entrances of the nursing home/assisted living centers, as well as the individual resident’s rooms, so that visitors and hospital staff can be aware the video recording may be taking place.
Currently, it is legal for families to install hidden cameras to monitor their loved ones, but with several stipulations:
First, if a camera is located in a shared room, such as one that is shared with another roommate or resident, the other resident must be aware of it’s use. Also, the camera can stream video-only. Audio recording is not permitted with a hidden camera.
Until now, it has been up to the discretion of the living facility if hidden cameras are allowed or not. If the governor signs this bill into law, facilities would face fines if they deny a legitimate request from a resident to install a camera in his or her room.
Laws like this are important, as Illinois saw over 100 reported cases of neglect, abuse, or financial exploitation of senior citizens living in assisted care facilities.
According to CBS affiliate KMOX, the governor did not give his official position on the bill, nor did his office provide an indication on whether or not he will sign the bill into law.