Security Camera Policy

Purpose & Scope

Oregon State University operates security cameras for the purpose of creating a safer environment for all those who live, work and visit campus.  This policy provides guidelines for the purchase, placement, operation of security cameras, purpose of their use, the storage and use of video and image data from these cameras at OSU. All public space electronic video surveillance equipment used by Oregon State University will be in accordance with state, local and federal law.

Security cameras are strategically placed throughout the OSU community to meet the specific needs of departments and for the purpose of assisting the OSU Department of Public Safety to deter crime, manage emergency response situations and investigate suspected criminal behavior.

Prohibited Activity

Security camera use will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner.  Security cameras will not be used in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Video monitoring shall not be used to harass, intimidate or discriminate against any individual or group.

Public Notification

Security cameras will be marked in a conspicuous manner to inform the public that the area is under video surveillance.

Review of Video Data

Authorization to retrieve and review recorded information pertaining to law enforcement need is restricted to each department’s Dean or Director and the Director of the OSU Department of Public Safety.


Viewing of any security camera feed (live or recorded), meant solely for security purposes will only be permitted with the express permission of the department’s Dean or Director, in consultation with the Director of Public Safety.  DPS will be given access to all campus security cameras for use during campus emergencies. Departments may install and view camera feeds for purposes related to business, education or support needs.

Public and other Agency Requests

Any requests for recorded video images that come from non-OSU employees will be promptly submitted to the Office of General Counsel and the Director of Public Safety.  Every reasonable effort should be made to preserve the data requested until the request has been finally processed by the Office of General Counsel.

Public and media requests for video images captured by security cameras will be made available only to the extent required by law.  In many cases, especially where a student is identifiable, a subpoena will be required.

Media Storage Guidelines

Only individuals authorized by DPS or the department’s Dean/Director (in consultation with DPS), will have access to stored security camera video and images.  Security camera video and images should be stored for a period of not less than 14 days and thereafter may be erased, if not otherwise required for any related investigation, claim or other University need.

Equipment and Software Specifications

Departments wishing to install or use security cameras are responsible for the purchase of all necessary equipment including cameras, wiring, servers and software.

Any video recording software purchases made after January 1, 2013, must be approved by DPS to meet a specific software standard.  The software standard can be obtained through the OSU Department of Public Safety.

Upkeep of Surveillance Cameras

The departments are responsible for the upkeep of the security cameras and recording systems they purchase.  Departments purchasing security cameras and recording systems shall designate at least one Departmental Camera Custodian as the main DPS contact for technical and day-to-day operations of the security cameras purchased.