Q. See question 3245 above. Is it permitted to have a security camera inside a Mikva for men?
Should one avoid attending such a Mikva?
A. On an Israeli newspaper article also published on-line on 05.12.15 it was mentioned that a Rabbi was detained for questioning by the Jerusalem police following complaints that he had installed a camera in a men’s Mikva in the neighborhood of Sanhedria in northern Jerusalem. Some of the residents defended the Rabbi’s unusual move, explaining that he was concerned by the rise in pedophilia incidents and sexual assaults in Jerusalem’s Haredi neighborhoods. The Rabbi’s associates explained that he had tried to deter sex offenders by installing security cameras in the Mikva. The Rabbi declined comment. The Jerusalem Police said they were conducting an investigation into privacy breach allegations. Shortly after the rabbi was released, ads were posted outside the ritual bath, warning visitors that the cameras are still being used.
Lately, the use of cameras in Mikves, has expanded in order to protect the people in charge of them from being sued in case of accidents.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that it is permitted in principle when needed for the security and the safety of the attendants. However, the cameras should be placed in ways that keep the decorum and will not expose the nakedness of the people attending. The attendants should also be informed that they are being filmed.
The recorded material should be stored with great security and only used when needed in emergencies.
The Rov added, that if one has to attend such a Mikva, he should avoid facing the cameras by inclining and covering with a towel as needed.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a