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Surveillance Camera Use

Policy Statement

  • Surveillance cameras may be installed in situations and places where the security of either property or people would be enhanced.
  • When appropriate, cameras may be placed campus-wide, inside and outside of buildings.
  • Cameras will be used in a professional, ethical, and legal manner consistent with all existing University policies.
  • Camera use will be limited to situations that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by law.
  • The Chief of Police will function as the Surveillance Camera Coordinator and manage activities of the Surveillance Camera Governance Group.

Reason for Policy

  • The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of surveillance cameras to protect the legal and privacy interests of the University and the University community.
  • The function of surveillance cameras is to assist in protecting the safety and property of the University community.
  • The primary use of surveillance cameras will be to record images for future identification of individuals in the event of legal or policy violations.

Policy Requirements

  • Only authorized personnel, as determined by this policy and authorized by the Chancellor or Designee, will be involved in, or have access to, surveillance camera data.
  • Local facility administrators and designated officials may have access to surveillance camera data in their areas of responsibility.
  • University Police Services will have access to all surveillance camera data.
  • University Police Services must complete a background check before employees are allowed access to surveillance camera data.
  • When an incident is suspected to have occurred, designated personnel may review the images from surveillance camera data.
  • A log will be maintained for a period of 12 months for all access to and use of data stored in the University?s centralized surveillance system.
  • The installation of new surveillance cameras must be approved in advance by the Surveillance Camera Governance Group.
  • Once approved, new surveillance cameras must connect to the University's centralized surveillance system which will be maintained by ITS in the McGraw Datacenter.
  • All existing surveillance cameras that are not connected to the University's centralized surveillance system must submit a Security Camera Location Document to the Surveillance Camera Governance Group.
  • When the existing cameras and/or recorders are replaced, they must be converted to the University's centralized surveillance system.

Related Policy Information

  • Surveillance cameras will not record or monitor sound.
  • Recorded surveillance camera data must be retained for a period of at least 30 days.
  • Surveillance camera data is not considered to be Directory Information and may be subject to confidentiality restrictions, including but not limited to FERPA requirements.
  • Requests from University entities to release information obtained through surveillance cameras must be submitted to the Surveillance Camera Coordinator and approved by the Surveillance Camera Governance Group prior to release.
  • All requests from sources external to the University to release information obtained through surveillance cameras must follow established procedures to request that information be released.


  • Cameras installed or utilized for criminal investigations are subject to appropriate Wisconsin and Federal laws and are excluded from this policy.
  • Cameras used for research purposes are subject to appropriate Institutional Review Board policies regarding human subjects and are excluded from this policy.

Contact Information
Office / Unit Name Contact Name, Title Phone Email
University Police Services Matthew Kiederlen, Chief of Police Ext. 4660
Office of Student Life Terry Tumbarello, Interim Dean of Students Ext. 1533
ITS Nick Ciesinski, Chief Technology Officer Ext. 7774
Word Definition
Surveillance Camera Any item, system, camera, technology device, communications device or process, used alone or in conjunction with a network, for the purpose of gathering, monitoring, recording or storing an image or images of University facilities and/or people in University facilities. Such devices may include, but are not limited to: analog and digital surveillance cameras, close circuit television, web cameras and computerized visual monitoring.
Surveillance Camera Data Images captured by surveillance cameras, which may be real-time or preserved for review at a later date.
Surveillance Camera Governance Group A group comprised of delegates appointed by the Chancellor's staff for purposes of developing and overseeing policies for the use of surveillance cameras at the Univeristy. Delegates represent: University Police Services, Dean of Student Life, ICIT, Residence Life, Risk Management and student government.
Centralized Surveillance System Core infrastructure maintained by ICIT for purposes of storing and retrieving images from all surveillance cameras deployed across the University. Infrastructure could include storage resources, such as disk drive arrays, as well as dedicated servers. Servers could perform activities such as storing images for later retrieval, retrieving images for investigation purposes and maintaining logs of all access to stored surveillance camera data.
Role Responsibility
Surveillance Camera Coordinator
  • Chairs the surveillance Camera Governance Group
  • Reviews requests for installation and/or placement of surveillance cameras, makes a recommendation on the requests and forwards the requests to the Surveillance Camera Governance Group
  • Provides a copy of this policy to camera operators and supervisors involved in surveillance monitoring and recording
Surveillance Camera Governance Group
  • Reviews all requests for installation and/or placement of surveillance cameras
  • Reviews requests from internal University entities for release of surveillance camera information
  • Reviews recommendations on infrastructure for campus-wide surveillance cameras
  • Recommends funding mechanisms for implementing and maintaining the campus-wide surveillance camera infrastructure
  • Publishes and maintains the University technical standards for surveillance cameras
  • Maintains infrastructure for the University's main surveillance camera infrastructure, including storage space, server systems and backup resources (as appropriate)
  • Makes recommendations to the Surveillance Camera Governance Group regarding technical specifications and requirements for surveillance cameras to use the main University system


Procedures for Requesting New Surveillance Cameras


Date: February 18, 2008

Revision(s): Original policy approved by Chancellor's Staff

Title: Use of Surveillance Cameras

Effective Date: February 18, 2008

Responsible Officer: Chancellor or Designee

Responsible Office: Surveillance Camera Governance Group

Last Reviewed: February 18, 2008

Version: 007 (FINAL version as adopted)