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Lawmaker Offers Bill Allowing Cameras in Resident Rooms, Raising Privacy Concerns

A Utah lawmaker is reviving a bill that would permit residents of assisted living communities, or their representatives, to install cameras in their rooms but the issue raises privacy concerns for residents and visitors, reports the Deseret News.

“Its primary value, to be honest, is deterrence,” Rep. Timothy Hawkes, R-Centerville, told the media outlet. “If you’re a criminal that’s victimizing elderly people and you see a sign that says you can be monitored and recorded, I think you are probably going to walk on by.” The proposed bill specifies that the community must be notified a may require the resident to affix a sign near the entrance of the room to warn people that the room is being monitored.

Utah Assisted Living Association President Jared Nye expressed concern about the bill, saying “[W]e worry about the privacy of the resident themselves. That’s their home.”

Four states – Texas, Mexico, Washington and Oklahoma – already allow electronic monitoring in long-term care settings with certain conditions. Utah is not the only state considering such measures. Use of electronic surveillance equipment is one of five top legislative trends Argentum has been monitoring as outlined in the “Argentum Advocates for You Year-End Report.” The free report is available to members in the Argentum online store.

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