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Video Security Surveillance

Video Security Surveillance

Rainbow District School Board uses video security surveillance in its facilities to:

  • enhance the safety of students, staff and community members,
  • protect Board and school property against theft and vandalism, and
  • aid in the identification of intruders and of persons breaking the law.

Video security surveillance is used in secondary schools and some elementary schools and may be used on school buses.

Personal information is being collected under the authority of the Education Act and used in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).


In the event of a reported or observed incident, the review of recorded information may be used to assist in the investigation. The Board/school will maintain control of and responsibility for the Video Security Surveillance system at all times. Any agreements between the Board and service providers shall state that the records dealt with or created while delivering a Video Security Surveillance system are under the Board’s custody and control and are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Acts).

Collection of Personal Information Using a Video Security Surveillance System

Any recorded data or visual, audio or other images of an identifiable individual qualify as “personal information” under the Acts. Video Security Surveillance systems can be operated to collect personal information about identifiable individuals. The Board has determined that it has the authority to collect this personal information in accordance with the Acts. No person shall collect personal information on behalf of the Board unless the collection is expressly authorized by statute, used for the purposes of law enforcement, or necessary to the proper administration of a lawfully authorized activity.

The Design, Installation and Operation of Video Security Surveillance Equipment:

In designing, installing and operating a Video Security Surveillance system, the following will be considered:

  1. Reception equipment such as video cameras or audio or other devices will only be installed in identified public areas where video security surveillance is a necessary and viable detection or deterrence activity.
  2. The equipment will be installed in such a way that it only monitors those areas that have been identified as requiring video surveillance. Cameras will not be directed to look through the windows of adjacent buildings.
  3. If cameras are adjustable by operators, access should be restricted, if possible, so that operators cannot adjust or manipulate them to overlook spaces that are outside of the intended area to be covered by the Video Security Surveillance system.
  4. Video monitors should not be in a position that enables public viewing. Equipment must not monitor the inside of areas where students, staff and members of the public have a higher expectation of privacy (e.g. change rooms and washrooms).
  5. The school should consider the use of motion detectors to limit the time when the video security surveillance cameras are in operation.
  6. Students, staff and members of the public will be notified, using clearly written signs, prominently displayed at the perimeter of the video security surveillance area, of video security surveillance equipment locations, so that each person has reasonable and adequate warning that surveillance is, or may be, in operation.
  7. The Board and schools must comply with the notification requirements under Section 29(2) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Section 39(2) of the Provincial Act). This provision requires that institutions inform individuals of the legal authority for the collection of personal information; the principal purpose(s) for which the personal information is intended to be used, and the title, business address and telephone number of someone who can answer questions about the collection.
  8. Administration should adhere to a strict maintenance program for video cameras, including image refocusing and lens cleaning. Administration is responsible for ensuring that video cameras and recording equipment are operating properly at their respective locations, according to manufacturers’ specifications. Any issues or concerns regarding the performance of such equipment are to be addressed immediately.

Access, Use, Disclosure, Retention, Security and Disposal of Video Security Surveillance Records:

Any information obtained through video security surveillance systems may only be used for the purposes set out in the policy and must relate to the protection of students, staff and members of the public, including the discipline or consequences that may arise from that, or it must assist in the detection and deterrence of criminal activity and/or vandalism. Information should not be retained or used for purposes other than those described in the policy.

Procedures on the use and retention of recorded information include:

  • Only authorized individuals may review the information. Circumstances which would warrant review will normally be limited to an incident that has been reported/observed or to investigate a potential crime.
  • The retention period for information that has not been viewed for law enforcement, school or public safety purposes shall not exceed 30 days. Recorded information that has not been used within these timeframes must be routinely deleted in a manner in which it cannot be reconstructed or retrieved.
  • When recorded information has been viewed for law enforcement, school or public safety purposes, Section 5 of the Ontario Regulation 823 under the Municipal Act, and Section 5(1) of Ontario Regulation 460 under the Provincial Act, requires that personal information must be retained for one year.

For more information, please contact:

Nicole Charette
Information and Privacy Co-ordinator
Rainbow District School Board
Centre for Education
408 Wembley Drive
Sudbury, ON P3E 1P2
Phone: 705-674-3171, ext. 7217
[email protected]