This procedure defines the criteria and process associated with the installation and use of video surveillance equipment to ensure that it is used only to promote safety and security of the Town of Oakville’s assets and property in accordance with the provisions of relevant legislation and established policies and procedures.
This procedure applies to all employees whose duties include requesting, installing, accessing and monitoring video surveillance equipment and video footage at all Town of Oakville (town) facilities and properties but does not apply to videotaping or audio taping of Council and Committee meetings, theatre productions, or any covert surveillance that may be used for law enforcement purposes.
A. Video surveillance equipment
- The department director or designate responsible for a facility or property, in consultation with the Clerk’s department through the Records and Freedom of Information Officer and the Information Systems and Solutions department (IS+S), is responsible for:
- Ensuring that the implementation and ongoing administration and maintenance of any video surveillance system is in accordance with the provisions of relevant legislation and established policies and procedures.
- Determining and documenting the reason for implementation of a video surveillance system ensuring that the need is justified on the basis of verifiable reports of incidents of crime, significant safety concerns, or for crime prevention;
- Determining and documenting the location of equipment, description of viewing area and times when the video surveillance will be in effect ensuring that cameras are not installed in areas where the public and employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as washrooms, change rooms and residential areas minimizing the effects that the video surveillance system may have on personal privacy;
- Appointing and designating authority, in writing to those staff authorized to access the video surveillance system and information obtained through video monitoring and ensuring that they do so in accordance with the provisions of relevant legislation and established policies and procedures;
- Determining suitable location(s) for mandatory public notice signage ensuring that the public has reasonable and adequate warning that surveillance is or may be in operation before entering any area that is within the video surveillance viewing area.
- Ensuring erection and maintenance of pre-approved standard notice signage only, available from Central Stores; and
- Managing the ongoing operation and maintenance of the video surveillance system.
- The Records and Freedom of Information Officer is responsible for:
- Ensuring that the reasons for the proposed video surveillance equipment/systems are consistent with the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s (IPC) guidelines for the use of video surveillance cameras in public places;
- Identifying potential privacy risks;
- Assisting staff to identify appropriate locations for equipment and signage;
- Maintaining the corporate video surveillance inventory;
- Approving all instances of access to information obtained through video monitoring, unless otherwise specified.
- The IS+S department shall assess equipment requirements and make necessary arrangements for purchase and installation, ensuring support of standardized, consistent and reliable corporate strategies and that the corporate video surveillance inventory is updated to reflect any new video surveillance system(s) and/or additions or amendments to any existing video surveillance system(s).
- Where the town has a contract with a service provider, the contract shall provide that failure by the service provider to comply with relevant legislation and established policies and procedures is considered a breach of contract leading to penalties up to and including contract termination.
B. Access to video surveillance footage
- Circumstances which warrant viewing the information obtained through video monitoring are limited to incident and accident reports that occur at recreational facilities and other town properties, requests from a law enforcement agency and Municipal Freedom of Information requests.
- Access to video surveillance systems and information obtained through video monitoring is strictly limited to the department director and staff authorized by the department director or designate responsible for the facility or property where the system is located. The ability to copy recorded surveillance images is limited to designated IS+S staff subject to obtaining the required authorization as set out in sections 4 through 6 below.
- Surveillance images that have not been accessed for any purpose shall be automatically erased by the system according to the Records Retention Schedule. (14 days) Surveillance images that have been accessed will be subject to a separate retention period in accordance with the Records Retention Schedule.
- Requests for copies of recorded surveillance images shall be logged in the Video Surveillance Footage Request system and must include sufficient detail to address the following:
- Contact Information, department, staff name, phone extension, e-mail address and date of request
- Date, time, description of event and camera location
- Type of Request:
- Incident or Accident requests
- Law Enforcement Investigation
- Municipal Freedom of Information Request
- Requests for copies of recorded surveillance images are authorized by the Records and Freedom of Information Officer prior to release. In emergency situations where a police investigation is underway, this access may be expedited and access may be granted by department directors and/or authorized staff subject to the provisions of section 6, below.
- Third party service providers and Law Enforcement officers granted access to records created as a result of video surveillance must agree that any records dealt with or created pursuant to the video surveillance program remain under the Town of Oakville’s control and are subject to the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
C. Records retention
The retention periods for video surveillance images will be governed by the Town of Oakville Records Retention By-law.
D. Designated responsibilities
Departments are responsible for ensuring that the implementation and ongoing administration of video surveillance systems are in accordance with this procedure and the Video Surveillance Policy.
Incident - Incidents may include but are not limited to allegations of inappropriate behaviour which would be in violation of any town procedures relating to employee or public conduct.
Personal information - Defined in Section 2 of MFIPPA, as recorded information about an identifiable individual, which includes, but is not limited to, information relating to an individual’s race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex and age. If a video surveillance system displays these characteristics of an identifiable individual or the activities in which he or she is engaged, its contents will be considered “personal information” under MFIPPA.
Record - Information, however recorded, whether in printed form, on film, by electronic means or otherwise, and includes: a photograph, a film, a microfilm, a videotape, a machine-readable record, and any record that is capable of being produced from a machine readable record.
Video surveillance system - A video, physical or other mechanical electronic or digital surveillance system or device that enables continuous or periodic video recording, observing or monitoring of personal information about individuals.