Video Cameras, Administrative Uses
Effective: February 1, 2016
Reviewed and Updated: March 22, 2021
Contact: Facilities Planning and Management - Building Security Services
Iowa State University’s administrative use of video cameras enhances the efficiency of operations and the safety of the university community. However, administrative use of video cameras is permitted on university property only where privacy and legal standards are met.
This policy regulates the university’s administrative use of video cameras for reasons of safety, security, or enhancement of business services that may capture human behavior and interaction without the subjects’ consent.
NOTE REGARDING SYSTEMS INSTALLED OR PURCHASED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE POLICY: All systems installed for customer service, safety monitoring, or similar uses must comply with these requirements as existing systems are replaced or by July 1, 2022, whichever comes first.
The following uses are not governed by this policy:
- Standard academic uses in teaching, research and extension;
- ISU Police usage when consistent with standard police practices, the ISU Police Operations Manual, and as provided by law;
- Uses of cameras that are not intended to capture human behavior or interaction, such as video monitoring of equipment;
- Uses for intercollegiate athletics, recording of public events, musical, theatrical and similar performances;
- Training programs and presentations;
- Journalistic uses by affiliated student publications and news outlets, as well as university news and marketing uses;
- Construction web cameras; and
- Uses for other than university purposes.
Excluded uses may be subject to other regulations. For example, use in the classroom may be subject to student privacy policies, and research uses may be subject to human subjects requirements.
Iowa State University permits units to place video cameras on university property subject to meeting the requirements of this policy and the related Guidelines on Administrative Uses of Video Cameras (see Resources below).
Standards Applicable to all Video Cameras Permitted Under this Policy
- Video camera equipment may not record conversations unless the system is set up and operated to obtain the consent of the persons being monitored.
- Video cameras will be placed so as to avoid invasion of privacy; video cameras will not be placed in, or to primarily monitor, private areas such as private work areas, medical treatment areas, rest rooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms or similar areas.
- Video cameras may not be permanently affixed to buildings without authorization from the Office of the University Architect.
Crime Prevention and Response Uses
When a university administrator desires to use video cameras in substantial part for purposes of crime prevention, the administrator/requestor must complete the Administrative Video Camera Request (see Guidelines), and the video camera(s) must meet standards established by Facilities Planning and Management (FP&M) Building Security Services (see Resources below). Crime prevention encompasses personal safety and property protection.
Systems installed to monitor the areas such as the following are deemed to involve crime prevention even if the primary rationale is customer service:
- Entryways to secure facilities
- Cash-handling areas such as cashiers, point of sale operations and the like
- Equipment and inventory storage areas
- Chemicals and hazardous materials storage areas
- Pharmaceutical dispensaries and storage areas
- Computer laboratories
- Restricted laboratories
Systems installed for crime prevention are required to meet the following standards:
- The unit shall require individuals within the unit who have access to the video feed to acknowledge responsibility to adhere to FP&M requirements and agree to maintain confidentiality of video data. See Resources below for Guidelines on Administrative Uses of Video Cameras established by Building Security Services.
Public Spaces and Events
University administrators may install video cameras to transmit images of outdoor areas for public relations purposes. Typical uses include web cameras transmitting live or near live images, but which are not set to record. Public areas are outdoor areas freely available to the public and common areas in buildings where individuals have a minimal expectation of privacy. Video cameras must be set up and used so as to avoid invasion of privacy.
Customer Service and Other Uses
Administrators desiring to use video cameras for purposes not indicated above, such as for improvement of customer service, or monitoring safety in closed spaces, must operate the video system in compliance with the following requirements:
- The unit shall require individuals within the unit who have access to the video feed to acknowledge responsibility to adhere to the requirements of this policy and agree to maintenance of confidentiality of video data;
- Approval from the Office of University Human Resources is required in cases where the actions of university personnel will be monitored on a regular basis and not in a public location; and
- Guidelines on Administrative Uses of Video Cameras (see Resources below)
- Building Security Services, Facilities Planning and Management
- Office of the University Architect
- Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources
- Data Classification policy and related guidance
- Catalog: Recording and Transmission of Classes
- Student Code of Conduct 4.2.25, Unauthorized Sale of Others' intellectual Works
- Faculty Handbook 184.108.40.206, Ownership of Course-related Presentations
- Faculty Handbook 10.6.2, Distant Sites (notification of recordings)