Right to privacy violation or "fair game"

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Right to privacy violation or "fair game"

Woman Sues Ex Over Trove of Secret Tapes

Here are some key excerpts:

An Ohio woman is suing her ex-husband after she said he spied on her with a hidden video camera, microphone and a GPS for months in their home.

Cathy Zang learned about the recordings during their 2009 divorce proceedings after 14 years of marriage, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Her ex-husband, Joe Zang, a homebuilder in Ohio, admitted to installing all the equipment, but denied doing anything wrong, according to court documents.

After learning of the secret recordings, Cathy Zang searched her home and found numerous recording devices.

"He [Joe Zang] put small microphones and small cameras in wall outlets and disguised them as actual wall outlets. It's a complete view of the computer area, the kitchen area, the living room area," said Cathy Zang's attorney, Don Roberts.

While the Zangs' divorce is now final and out of court, the recordings are at the center of a federal court battle over the right to privacy amidst 21st century technology. Two lawsuits are now pending in U.S. District Court that involve nearly a dozen of the former couple's friends and family and a computer monitoring software company, as first reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

One suit was filed by Javier Luis, a Florida man whose online conversations with Cathy Zang were monitored, while the other was filed by Zang herself. Both lawsuits seek hundreds of thousands of dollars for wiretapping and invasion of privacy, the Enquirer reports.

"He was hacking into my personal computer account and getting into my e-mail. At some point he had a GPS on my car," Cathy Zang told ABC News.

"There are some embarrassing things that I wouldn't want other people to see because I was in the privacy of my own home," she said.

It's not clear what laws Joe Zang has broken since he installed the devices in his own home.

"What do you do when both people pay the bills? When both people's names are on the deed? When both people share the same computer, purchased it together? It's very difficult for a prosecutor then to say, well you have committed a crime against this other person," said legal analyst Sunny Hostin, a former federal prosecutor.
Ohio and federal wiretapping laws permit audio recording as long as one of the parties in the conversation is aware of the recording.

What do you think? Should this be legal? Is it any different than installed "security" cameras, those hidden to watch the babysitter, or others working in your home?

What if the wife had installed hidden cameras to document spousal or child abuse? What if one partner was suspected of cheating -- does the "innocent" partner have the right to place cameras, keylogging software, etc. in the home that is shared by both?

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Oh wow. I don't know. That really sucks for her and I don't know what I would do except go crazy replaying in my head anything he could have heard and seen. Not that I've ever done anything wrong per se, but especially conversations, I've said some things not intended for my SO's or my kids' ears.

I once said something to my SIL in the strictest of confidence. It got back to my then-DH who then confronted me on it. I felt so bad - still do 15 years later. I can only imagine how bad I would feel if every conversation I've ever had in my home were recorded. Sad

As bad as it would suck, I don't know that I can call it criminal. He owned the home too. Really, it amounts to an a*hole not respecting his wife.

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I don't think that people should be able to record you without your knowlege, even in their own homes. I think they should have to notify you whenever you have the possibility of being recorded, including nanny cams or spy spouse cams. The idea of being recorded without my knowlege totally feels like a violation of my person.

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not sure on the legalities, but EWWWWW

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I don't think that people should be able to record you without your knowlege, even in their own homes. I think they should have to notify you whenever you have the possibility of being recorded, including nanny cams or spy spouse cams. The idea of being recorded without my knowlege totally feels like a violation of my person.

I agree. In CA both parties need to know. But in OH, it's just 1 person.

Back in HS we had some members of the baseball team hide out in their buddy's closet while he and a girl were getting intimate. It became this huge scandal all the way around. I can't remember if the boy knew or not. This and the OP is the worst kind of breech of trust I can think of. Just beyond reproach.

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It's illegal in Florida to record a conversation without informing all relevant parties. It's really common to only require 1 party's consent (the person doing the recording), but FL just happens to be one of the few states that's different.
Electronic Surveillance Laws

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

It's illegal in Florida to record a conversation without informing all relevant parties. It's really common to only require 1 party's consent (the person doing the recording), but FL just happens to be one of the few states that's different.
Electronic Surveillance Laws

This is totally off topic, but I wonder if the person that videotaped Romney in Boca Raton will be in trouble for the videotape?

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"mom3girls" wrote:

This is totally off topic, but I wonder if the person that videotaped Romney in Boca Raton will be in trouble for the videotape?

That's a good point! I wonder if they had a "no videotaping" policy that the person violated?

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I think it's such an invasion of privacy. It is clear why someone would do this to someone. If it's not illegal, I hope it makes a new case law.

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"mom3girls" wrote:

This is totally off topic, but I wonder if the person that videotaped Romney in Boca Raton will be in trouble for the videotape?

I think, but don't know for sure, that videotaping is different that audio. If it's audio, then you have to inform everyone involved. What happened in Boca Raton?

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The video had audio-it's all over CNN-he said something about the 47% are always going to vote for President Obama because they don't want to take responsibility for their lives.

It was his house. I wouldn't be happy about being recorded without my knowledge, but I don't think it should be illegal to record things in your own home even if someone else lives there.

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"wlillie" wrote:

The video had audio-it's all over CNN-he said something about the 47% are always going to vote for President Obama because they don't want to take responsibility for their lives.

It was his house. I wouldn't be happy about being recorded without my knowledge, but I don't think it should be illegal to record things in your own home even if someone else lives there.

Without their knowledge though? That's the part that gets to me. I think you should be able to record your own home, but I also think that you should have to tell everyone that might be recorded that this is happening so they can decide if they are okay with it or if they want to leave your home and not be on tape.

To take it a step farther, what if it were a person that had placed a recording device in his bathroom, and then would invite people over and record people as they did their business without their knowledge?

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I think I'd draw the line at the bathroom. You have me there. But I want to put a nannycam in my house and I'm 90% sure it's not allowed unless I tell her (even in Mississippi). I just think it's my home, I should be able to know what's going on in it.

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"wlillie" wrote:

I think I'd draw the line at the bathroom. You have me there. But I want to put a nannycam in my house and I'm 90% sure it's not allowed unless I tell her (even in Mississippi). I just think it's my home, I should be able to know what's going on in it.

I agree that in your home you should be able to do it, I just think you should have to tell your nanny about it first so she can decide if she still wants to work for you in the knowledge that she will be recorded. Who knows, maybe the knowledge that you can see her every move will turn her into the world's most conscientous nanny...lol

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But I'd rather see how she's behaving when she doesn't know I'm watching. I already know she's the world's most conscientous nanny when I'm watching her! Blum 3

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I think people feel weird about being videoed without their knowledge, not necessarily because they are doing wrong things but because I think to some degree people have different behaviors which may not be 'bad' but not company appropriate. If the wife was alone and she was doing something not company appropriate the husband (ex) can do whatever he wants with those videos. What if she was picking her nose and if the world found out like by him posting a video on Youtube she might feel embarrassed. Or what's to stop him from showing all of his friends videos. How would you all feel if your spouse videotaped you picking your nose and posted it on youtube? I mean we can substitute a lot of behaviors we may feel embarrassed about. Everyone has the right to privacy and protection in their OWN home. I think what he did was extremely stalking behavior. ETA and I think he needs mental help, his behavior is scary. I just wonder why he thought he should do it.

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I'm 99% sure she was cheating. I'm psycho. I'll admit it. I trust my husband but if I ever did have the feeling he was cheating, I'd be a stalker. Luckily he knows this because I informed him of it a long time ago. I'd totaly do it. Mainly to see if I needed to get tested for STDs and file for a divorce. I'd need proof before I accused him of anything.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Without their knowledge though? That's the part that gets to me. I think you should be able to record your own home, but I also think that you should have to tell everyone that might be recorded that this is happening so they can decide if they are okay with it or if they want to leave your home and not be on tape.

To take it a step farther, what if it were a person that had placed a recording device in his bathroom, and then would invite people over and record people as they did their business without their knowledge?

I'm pretty sure that places like bathrooms and bedrooms are where a person should expect a reasonable amount of privacy and I think those are places where recordings are forbidden. Like, you could put a nanny cam in your living room, but not in your bathroom. Same thing for people taking videos with their phones in public bathrooms. If someone videotapes you through your livingroom window and you have the curtains up and you're in full view of people outside that's not against the law because there's no reasonable expectation of privacy while standing there where people can see. I mean, they're seeing you. What makes it illegal to put on videotape what they have already seen?

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I can see how thinking you're being cheated on can make a person psycho but does that make the videoing right? No.

You know, my 6 y/o got up earlier than us one day and got the ipad out and decided to film what we all look like while we are sleeping. O M GGGGGG you know if that video ever got out I'd faint. And I was just laying there sleeping. I am not so beautiful while sleeping. I think maybe only kids are Smile

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You shouldn't be able to secretly record your spouse or roommates. Yeah, it's your house, but it's also theirs and I think they should have to consent to being recorded. The person you live with's right to privacy in her own home trumps your right to generally do whatever you want in your own home.

Nannycams are generally legal because you are the employer and employees can reasonably expect to be under surveillance when there is a legitimate concern -- even in a home setting. The daily care of small children who can't communicate about neglect or abuse is definitely a legitimate concern, and many daycares already videotape their common areas just for parents' peace of mind. Although, as someone else said, in some states the audio portion would be inadmissable in court but if you're looking to sue your nanny there's probably a lot of other evidence besides the audio to back up your claims. And it would definitely be admissable if your contract with the nanny states that she understands that she may be under video & audio surveillance.

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What if they are just using a webcam, but not recording?

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I'm pretty sure that places like bathrooms and bedrooms are where a person should expect a reasonable amount of privacy and I think those are places where recordings are forbidden. Like, you could put a nanny cam in your living room, but not in your bathroom. Same thing for people taking videos with their phones in public bathrooms. If someone videotapes you through your livingroom window and you have the curtains up and you're in full view of people outside that's not against the law because there's no reasonable expectation of privacy while standing there where people can see. I mean, they're seeing you. What makes it illegal to put on videotape what they have already seen?

I can see there being no expectation of privacy when you are out in public where obviously other people can see you, but I think that inside a house, you should have a reasonable expectation that the only people who can see you are the people in the house with you, and that you not be videotaped without your permission.

Haha Lillie - why do you want to videotape your nanny? Do you have any reason to not trust her? I have to say that there is no way I would work for someone if I knew or found out they were taping me. Not because I would be doing anything wrong, but simply because I could never relax in their house and I wouldn't like the implication that they had so little faith in me.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I have to say that there is no way I would work for someone if I knew or found out they were taping me. Not because I would be doing anything wrong, but simply because I could never relax in their house and I wouldn't like the implication that they had so little faith in me.

I wouldn't have a problem with it. There are all kinds of crazies out there and when you hire a nanny there is no guarantee. There are many Daycares that have webcams now that offer parents the chance to look in and see what their kids are doing. My co-worker's daycare does this and she checks it every once in awhile during the day just to see what he is up to, not necessarily because she doesn't trust the teachers. I wonder too if it is illegal to have a live webcam in your house so you could watch your kids if you are not recording it?

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"wlillie" wrote:

What if they are just using a webcam, but not recording?

The concern with nannycams is if they are not hardwired, then the wireless signal can be intercepted. That potential interception changes the video from routine child care surveillance to voyeurism, and the potential for voyeurism violates the nanny's right to privacy. Devices that record digitally, which are then downloaded to a private computer, don't have that concern which is why they are usually legal. I'm not sure how webcams would fit into that picture.

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I don't think she holds the baby enough or really understands how to play with him at this age. She's only 20 and he's the youngest she's nannied for but she had experience with her niece. I'm betting it's more fun to handle a 3 month old that you love dearly who's mom lives with you than one you are paid to watch. I trust her to handle his needs, but I'd like to see if he's getting enough play/cuddle time.

eta-I meant to post that I wasn't talking about the nannycam thing (entirely) when I brought up the webcam. I meant in general. If he was just watching her diddle the other man for his own confirmtaion that she was cheating so he could let the relationship go over the internet instead of recording, would that be acceptable?

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I don't really know how I feel about this legally, but I just wanted to point out that this whole conversation makes me ever so thankful for DH.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I don't really know how I feel about this legally, but I just wanted to point out that this whole conversation makes me ever so thankful for DH.

Yes me too.