Bystanders’ Privacy: The Perspectives of Nannies on Smart Home Surveillance


Julia Bernd, International Computer Science Institute; University of California, Berkeley; Ruba Abu-Salma, Centre INRIA Sophia Antipolis-Méditerranée; Alisa Frik, International Computer Science Institute; University of California, Berkeley


The increasing use of smart home devices affects the privacy not only of device owners, but also of individuals who did not choose to deploy them, and may not even be aware of them. Some smart home devices and systems, especially those with cameras, can be used for remote surveillance of, for example, domestic employees. Domestic workers represent a special case of bystanders’ privacy, due to the blending of home, work, and care contexts, and employer–employee power differentials. To examine the experiences, perspectives, and privacy concerns of domestic workers, we begin with a case study of nannies and of parents who employ nannies. We conducted 26 interviews with nannies and 16 with parents. This paper describes the research agenda, motivation, and methodology for our study, along with preliminary findings.

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