Video Surveillance Policy

Policy No. CP-CL-POL-005
Updated February 21, 2023

    1. The Municipality of Lambton Shores is committed to enhancing the safety and security of the public, its employees, and its property, while balancing an individual’s right to privacy.
    1. This Policy and any related procedures aim to achieve the balance outlined in the Policy Statement by establishing guidelines with respect to the installation and operation of digital recording surveillance systems, the use of information obtained through digital recording surveillance systems, and controlling access to the records created by digital recording surveillance systems.
    2. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that digital recording surveillance technology is used only in a manner that is in accordance with the provisions of MFIPPA and other relevant legislation.
    3. This policy will assist the municipal departments that have identified an appropriate use for digital recording surveillance technology in a manner that complies with MFIPPA, all other relevant legislation and records management requirements.
  3. SCOPE
    1. This policy applies to Members of Council, all employees, including full-time, part-time, casual, contract, volunteer and co-op placement employees.
    2. This Policy applies to all digital recording surveillance systems whose duties include requesting, installing, accessing and monitoring digital recording surveillance equipment and video footage at all municipal facilities, and property. Contractors and service providers are afforded the same rights and expectations as employees in this policy, while performing authorized activities for the Municipality.
    3. This policy does not apply to videotaping or audio taping of Council meetings. This policy does not apply to covert surveillance used as an investigation tool for law enforcement purposes or in contemplation of litigation.
    1. The objectives of digital recording surveillance systems are to enhance the safety and security of employees, the public and corporate assets, to prevent unauthorized activities on or involving municipal property and reduce risk and liability exposures.
    2. The Municipality recognizes the balance between an individual’s right to be free from invasion of privacy and the need to protect the safety and security of its employees, the public and property. In respecting this balance, the Municipality is committed to ensuring and enhancing the safety and security of the public, its employees and property by integrating security best practices with the responsible use of technology.
    1. Digital Recording Surveillance System(s) – audio/visual surveillance equipment capable of recording images and sound in a digital format
    2. Digital Recording(s) – the data (audio and/or video) created and stored as a result of the use of Digital Recording Surveillance System
    3. Incident – Incidents may include but are not limited to allegations of inappropriate behaviour which would be in violation of any municipality procedures relating to employee or public conduct.
    4. MFIPPA – Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
    5. Municipality – Municipality of Lambton Shores
    6. Personal Information – Defined in Section 2 of MFIPPA, as recorded information about an identifiable individual, which includes, but is not limited to, an individual’s image as well as information relating to an individual’s race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex and age. If a digital recording surveillance system displays these characteristics of an identifiable individual or the activities in which he/she/they are engaged, its contents will be considered “personal information” under MFIPPA.
    7. Record – any recorded information, however recorded, whether in printed form, on film, by electronic or digital means or otherwise, including correspondence, memoranda, plans, maps, architectural drawings, photographs, film, email, video tapes, audio recordings, reports, personnel records and any other documentary material regardless of physical form of characteristics.
    1. Directors, Managers, and Supervisors

      Directors, Managers, and Supervisors will:

      1. Provide oversight and compliance with this policy
      2. Administer and communicate this policy broadly to employees
      3. Ensure the use of the digit recording surveillance system at their facilities are in compliance with this policy
      4. Ensure a public notice for digital recording surveillance is placed at all sites that have a digital recording surveillance system;
      5. Refer any requests for copies of surveillance video to the Clerk
      6. Report any privacy breaches to the Clerk
      7. Ensure that employees are monitoring compliance with the retention periods
    2. Corporate Services/Clerk

      The Clerk is responsible to:

      1. Respond to requests for disclosure under MFIPPA or applicable routine disclosure procedures
      2. Respond to requests from the public and employees about the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information captured by a digital recording surveillance system
      3. Respond to appeals and privacy complaints received through the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC)
      4. Work with staff in the event of an improper disclosure of personal information
      5. Notify the IPC in the event of a privacy breach, where appropriate
      6. Conduct internal audits of the system, as required, to ensure compliance with this policy and MFIPPA
    3. Employees
      Employees are responsible to:
      1. Report to their manager or supervisor any suspected privacy breach
      2. Report to their supervisor any problems with the digital recording surveillance system
      3. Review and comply with this policy

      Employees may be subject to criminal charges, civil liability and/or discipline, including but not limited to termination, for a breach of this policy, or provisions of MFIPPA or other relevant statutes.

    The Municipality is responsible for the digital recording surveillance systems and maintaining custody and control of video records at all times. The collection of personal information through digital recording surveillance is authorized under Section 28(2) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

    1. Notification
      1. Signs are posted at all public access points to and within areas under digital recording surveillance.
      2. A suggested wording for use in signage, based on a minimum requirement of the Information and Privacy Commission:
        “THIS AREA IS MONITORED BY DIGITAL RECORDING SURVEILLANCE.  Please direct inquiries regarding the collection and personal information to the Municipality of Lambton Shores, 7883 Amtelecom Parkway, Forest, Ontario  519-243-1400”
    2. Camera Placement
      1. Adjustment of the camera position should be restricted, if possible, to ensure only intended areas are being monitored.
      2. Digital Recording surveillance equipment should not be installed in areas where the public and employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as washrooms, change rooms or other similar areas where personal privacy and/or confidentiality is expected.
      3. Only the Director in coordination with the Clerk may install, change or authorize a service provider or employee to install or change a camera’s permanent setting.
      4. Equipment shall be installed in a strictly controlled access area. Only Municipal employees shall have access to the access area and equipment.
    3. Use of Digital Recordings
      The information collected through digital recording surveillance is used only for the purposes of:

      1. Enhancing the safety and security of employees, the public and corporate assets;
      2. Preventing unauthorized activities upon or involving municipal property;
      3. Assisting in investigating unlawful activity;
      4. Assessing the effectiveness of safety and security measures;
      5. Investigating an incident involving the safety or security of people facilities or assets;
      6. Providing evidence as required to protect the municipality’s legal rights;
      7. Investigating an incident or allegation of serious employee misconduct;
      8. Managing corporate risk;
      9. Investigating an incident involving a potential or active insurable claim; or
      10. A consistent purpose.
    4. Requests for Disclosure
      A digital recording will not be disclosed to any individual or organization except as permitted through MFIPPA.

      1. Public requests for disclosure – Any person may make a written request for access to the records created through a digital recording surveillance system through the freedom of information process. Access may depend on whether there is an unjustified invasion of another individual’s privacy and whether any exempt information can be reasonably severed from the record.
      2. Internal requests for disclosure – Employees or consultants may request a copy of a record if it is necessary for the performance of their duties in the discharge of the institution’s functions.
      3. Law enforcement requests – The Municipality may disclose a copy of a record to a law enforcement agency where there are reasonable grounds to believe that an unlawful activity has occurred and been captured by the digital recording surveillance system in accordance with Section 32(g) of MFIPPA.If digital recording containing personal information is improperly disclosed or is suspected to have been disclosed to an unauthorized person, the employee or service provider who is aware of the disclosure must immediately inform the CAO, and appropriate Director, as well as, the Clerk or delegated employees.
    5. Retention and Destruction
      1. Digital recordings that have not been requested by the public, employees or law enforcement agencies within the maximum retention period is considered transitory and is automatically erased by being overwritten in accordance with the records retention by-law.
      2. Certain facilities use digital recording equipment to store information until the storage capacity of the hard drive/video tape has been reached at which time the image is overwritten. All new installed or upgraded digital recording equipment in facilities are programmed with a maximum retention period of ten (10) calendar days after which time it is overwritten.
      3. If a digital recording is proactively pulled in anticipation of a request, the digital recording may be stored for up thirty (30) calendar days. If no request is received within the thirty (30) days then it is manually deleted.
      4. Digital recording equipment may only be destroyed when replaced by a new piece of equipment or when it is not repairable. It may only be destroyed by an authorized service person and it is destroyed in a manner that ensures that it can no longer be used by any person and that the information recorded cannot be reconstructed or retrieved by any person.