Video Surveillance Procedure

Purpose statement

This procedure defines the criteria and process associated with the installation and use of video surveillance equipment to ensure personal information of individuals is protected in accordance with the provisions of relevant legislation and established policies and procedures.

Scope

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, properties and assets 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.

Procedure

A. Video Surveillance Equipment

1. 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 department (IS), 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.

2. 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; and
  • Approving all instances of access to information obtained through video monitoring, unless otherwise specified.

3. The IS 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). Maintaining the corporate video surveillance inventory.

4. 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

1. Circumstances which warrant viewing the information obtained through video monitoring are limited to:

  1. Investigations of incidents involving the safety or security of people, facilities or assets
  2. providing law enforcement agencies with evidence related to an incident under police investigation
  3. providing evidence as required to protect the town’s legal rights
  4. responding to a request for information under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  5. investigating an incident or allegation of employee misconduct
  6. investigating an incident involving an insurance claim
  7. training.

2. Access to video surveillance footage records is strictly limited and must be authorized by appropriate authority:

  1. incident/accident investigation footage records involving the safety or security of people, facilities or assets must be authorized by the Records and Freedom of Information Coordinator or their designate.
  2. law enforcement investigation footage records must be approved by the Records and Freedom of Information Coordinator or their designate.
  3. employee misconduct investigation footage records must be authorized by the Director of Human Resources or their designate.

3. Anyone who is authorized to receive a video surveillance footage record is required to sign a written receipt acknowledging his or her duties, obligations and responsibilities with respect to the use and disclosure of the record.

4. Requests for copies of recorded surveillance footage records shall be logged in the Video Surveillance Footage Request system and must include:

  • date and time of the request
  • identity of the requestor and identity of who is to receive the footage record (the recipient)
  • date, time, description of event including camera location
  • reason for the request

5. The provision of access to a video surveillance footage record shall be logged in the Video Surveillance Footage Request system and must include:

  1. method of access (view only / receive copy)
  2. date the footage record was viewed / received
  3. identity of who viewed / received the footage record
  4. signed acknowledgement the footage record was viewed / received

6. In emergency situations where a police investigation is underway, access may be expedited and access may be granted by department directors and/or authorized staff.

C. Records Retention

The retention periods for video surveillance footage shall be automatically erased by the system according to the town’s Records Retention Schedule (14 days).

A video surveillance footage record created in response to a specific event (as per procedure B.1.) will be subject to a specific retention period in accordance with the town’s Records Retention Schedule.

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.

Definitions

Accident: Accidents may include but are not limited to events where physical injury to an individual or damage to property has occurred.

Incident: Incidents may include but are not limited to events / 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 Footage Record: A record of video surveillance footage of a specific event created from the town’s video surveillance system.

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.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: A-SEC-001-001
Parent Policy: A-SEC-001
Section: Administration
Sub-Section: Security
Author: Clerk's department
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2008 Jul 07
Review by Date: 2024
Last Modified: 2019 Sep 23