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Division of Business and Finance

East Tennessee State University

FP-34 Security Camera Policy

I.   Preamble
II.  Policy
III. Appropriate Uses of Security Cameras on Campus
IV. Principles Regarding the Use of Security Cameras at ETSU for Non-Instructional Purposes
V.  Implementation
VI. Disclaimer

I. Preamble

Security cameras have come into increasing use on college and university campuses, principally as part of crime prevention strategy, to aid in the protection of public safety and personal property. Because ETSU respects the privacy of all of the members of the university community, this policy has been developed to govern the use of university authorized security cameras on campus, to ensure that such cameras are used judiciously.

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II. Policy

Responsibility for determining the appropriateness of installing university authorized surveillance cameras on campus that will be used for non-instructional purposes, and for disseminating and implementing this policy is delegated to the Office of the Vice President for Finance & Administration. The Vice President has established a Security Camera Subcommittee to review and make recommendations regarding locations of security cameras based on the parameters described below.

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III. Appropriate Uses of Security Cameras on Campus

Security camera use on campus for non-instructional purposes is considered appropriate when it enhances:

the protection of individuals, equipment and facilities
the monitoring of public areas
the monitoring of building entrances and exits
the investigation of criminal activity

Security camera use on campus is considered inappropriate when it entails:

the installing of dummy cameras that do not operate on a regular basis
infringement on a persons reasonable expectations of privacy
filming as a means of surreptitiously evaluating employee performance

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IV. Principles Regarding the Use of Security Cameras at ETSU for Non-Instructional Purposes

All recording or monitoring of the activities of individuals or groups by university authorized security cameras will be conducted in a manner consistent with existing university policies, and will never be based on the subjects personal characteristics, including race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or other protected classifications.

All recording or monitoring of video records will be conducted in a professional, ethical, and legal manner. University public safety or other university department personnel assigned to monitor video records will receive training in the effective, legal, and ethical, use of the monitoring equipment.  Misuse of security camera recordings will subject the individual to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination.

All recording or monitoring of public areas for security and safety purposes by university authorized security cameras it limited exclusively to practices that will not violate the standard of a reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by law.

Recorded images made by university authorized security cameras will be archived for the university in a security location for a specific predetermined period of time by the Office of Information Technology, and will be accessible to authorized university personnel on an as needed basis only.  Upon expiration of the predetermined time period for storage, all recorded images will be destroyed except if they are being used as part of an ongoing investigation of criminal activity.  The alteration of previously recorded images it strictly prohibited.

In public areas, signage giving notice of recording by security cameras will be posted as deemed appropriate by the Security Camera Subcommittee.

To maintain an informed campus community, a map of the locations of all authorized security cameras used for the recording and monitoring of public areas it maintained on the safety website  An audit of the location, use, and effectiveness of all security cameras used for the recording and monitoring of public areas for non-instructional purposes will be conducted by the Security Camera Subcommittee as considered necessary.

Notwithstanding the provisions herein, the university will comply with its legal obligations with respect to search warrants issued by an appropriate magistrate an acknowledges that the Department of Public Safety may apply for, and secure, appropriate search warrants in carrying out its law enforcement responsibilities.

Concerns about the possible infringement of these principles should be directed immediately to the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Any persons who tamper with or destroy video security equipment will be subject to criminal proceedings and/or campus judicial action.

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V. Implementation

The university will concentrate on, and be responsible for costs incurred for camera implementation for outside areas such as doors, parking lots, etc. as well as approved departmental locations.  The Security Camera subcommittee will develop a priority listing for camera placement.  Departments wishing to install cameras in departmental controlled areas may make a request using the Renovation and/or Change of Space Utilization Form  to have its request considered by the Security Camera subcommittee.  If not approved by the subcommittee, departments may make a request to the Vice President for Finance and Administration that they be allowed to purchase the cameras through departmental funds.  If approved, the equipment and installation cost as well as a prorated amount of ongoing maintenance costs will be the responsibility of the requesting department.  Any cameras purchased by the department must conform to the university standard and be placed on the university system.  In no case will departments be allowed to have cameras controlled exclusively by the department.

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VI. Disclaimer

Camera images are recorded and are not normally monitored in real time mode unless considered necessary by Public Safety or department staff.  

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Original effective date: November 15, 2010
Last review:


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