Policy on Security Cameras on Campus
Policy Category: Executive
Effective Date: 9/13/2023
Responsible Officer: Vice President and Chief Information Officer Digital Technology Services; Chief of Police
History: Electronic Device
Responsible Office: Digital Technology Services; Wentworth Police Department
This policy is intended to provide information related to cameras on Wentworth Institute of Technology (university) campus
This policy applies to all members of the Wentworth community, students, faculty, staff, and affiliates.
Wentworth Institute of Technology has adopted this policy to reflect its commitment to providing a safe and secure learning environment. The use of surveillance cameras is part of an integrated security approach that includes a number of strategies, including the physical presence of staff, access controls, and alarms. Surveillance cameras may be used in circumstances where potential users demonstrate that cameras will support crime prevention and the apprehension of offenders.
Wentworth will use surveillance cameras to enhance the safety and security of students, employees, visitors, and property, while protecting individuals rights to privacy. The primary intent of surveillance camera use at Wentworth Institute of Technology is to discourage the occurrence of unlawful behavior and enhance the likelihood of apprehending offenders. The existence of this policy does not mean that security cameras are continuously monitored.
- Private areas: An area where students, staff, and the public could reasonably expect complete privacy. Such areas include, but are not limited to, residence hall rooms, employee offices, restrooms, toilet and shower cubicles, locker rooms, changing rooms, or another area where a person may change clothing. Additionally, areas designed for the personal comfort of university employees or the safeguarding of their possessions, such as lounges and locker rooms, and areas dedicated to medical, physical, or mental therapy or treatment shall be considered private areas for the purpose of this policy.
- Public areas: Areas made available for use by the public, including, but not limited to, campus grounds, parking areas, building exteriors, loading docks, areas of ingress and egress, classrooms, lecture halls, study rooms, lobbies, theaters, libraries, dining halls, gymnasiums, recreation areas, and retail establishments. Areas of the university in which persons would not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, but to which access is restricted to certain university employees, such as storage areas, shall also be considered public areas for the purpose of this policy.
- Security camera: A camera used for monitoring or recording public areas for the purposes of enhancing public safety, discouraging theft and other criminal activities, and investigating incidents.
- Security camera recording: A digital or analog recording of the feed from a security camera.
- Security camera system: Any electronic service, software, or hardware directly supporting or deploying a security camera.
Use and Management of Recordings
- Surveillance camera recordings and their contents must not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those specified in this surveillance camera policy.
- Monitoring individuals based on characteristics of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or other protected classification is prohibited. Seeking out and continuously viewing people becoming intimate in public areas is prohibited.
- Requests for release of recorded material set forth in subpoenas or other legal documents compelling disclosure should be submitted to the General Counsel.
- Generally, requests for release of recorded material must be approved by the Chief of Police or the Office of General Counsel. Additionally, recorded materials that are part of a student’s discipline file may be released as part of the investigative report.
- Unless the Chief of Police instructs otherwise, recordings may be kept for sixty (60) days, after which they are erased or destroyed unless they are required for investigations (both internal and external) and case reporting. Recordings will not be made available for civil proceedings involving third parties except where required by law.
- Video footage will be stored on servers accorded appropriate computer security with access by authorized personnel only.
- Wentworth Police Department and Digital Technology Service (DTS) shall have the only access to recordings and has the right to control, view, hold, store and dispose of recordings in accordance with this policy.
- All recordings and their contents are the copyrighted property of the university and shall not be copied, distributed or used for any broadcast, performance or publication, except when such actions are taken by Wentworth Police Department in conjunction with investigations or criminal prosecutions.
Conditions Necessary for Camera Installation
- Demonstrated need, which includes evidence of high risk of unlawful incidents occurring or reoccurring.
- The Wentworth Police Department and/or DTS may review security cameras as needed.
- The Wentworth Police Department is typically responsible for approving any proposed camera installations. Requests for installation must be submitted to the Wentworth Police Department. In limited cases, DTS may approve camera installations.
- Budgets for cameras are the responsibility of the requesting department and should include funding for the equipment, such as the cameras, videos, monitors, and licensing.
- Cameras are a capital item and approval of which lies police department (ascertain justifiable need) and business office for funding.
- Consideration of alternative non-surveillance camera security strategies should be implemented first if appropriate.
- Cameras shall be located only in the physical area indicated by the registration process, based on the guidelines accompanying this policy.
- Unless being used for criminal investigations, all video security camera installations will be visible.
- Cameras shall not be installed in private areas without prior approval from the Chief of Police pursuant to a search warrant or otherwise.
- Cameras may be connected to the security camera system without prior approval from the Chief of Police pursuant to a search warrant or criminal investigation.
- Inoperable, fake, or dummy video cameras shall not be used.
- This policy does not apply to video recording or monitoring used for operational purposes, academic purposes, media purposes, or recording of public performances, events, or interviews provided that such activity is disclosed or readily apparent to those in view of the camera. Examples of such excluded activities would include videotaping of research subjects, athletic events for post-game review, videotaping of concerts, plays, and lectures, or videotaped interviews of persons.
- Cameras owned by external vendors (e.g. Sodexo, Follett, etc.) are independently owned by the vendor and not subject to this policy.
- The use of security cameras and recordings for any purpose not detailed in this policy is subject to the Information Technology Resource Appropriate Use Policy.
- However, the university may utilize routine security camera recordings in support of disciplinary proceedings against employees and/or students, or in a civil suit or other proceeding involving person(s) whose activities are shown on the recording and relate to the proceeding.
Additional Information & Related Documents
Interpretation & Revision
Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the Chief of Police. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.
This policy shall be reviewed every three years, however minor changes and updates can be made at any time.
Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.
Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used.
Review & Revision History
This policy was drafted by representatives from Wentworth Police Department, Student Affairs, Digital Technology Services, and Human Resources. It was reviewed by Cabinet and approved by the President on 9/13/2023.
This policy replaces the following policies: Electronic Device