Security Camera Policy

Video Surveillance

Purpose and Scope

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is committed to protecting the safety and property of the University community while respecting the privacy rights of our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Cameras provide a visual deterrent to crime, assist with overall security measures, and increase the potential identification and apprehension of person(s) who breach University policies and/or commit criminal acts. The use of security cameras extends the ability of Campus Security when officers are not immediately available. Cameras are not a guarantee of safety; however, they do serve as deterrents and can alert Security to potential danger. The primary use of surveillance cameras is to record images for future identification of individuals and activity in the event of violations of law or policy.

This policy regulates the use of surveillance cameras to protect the legal and privacy interests of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the University community. This policy applies to all University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo persons and organizations in the use of surveillance systems and devices for monitoring and/or recording activity.

This policy does not apply to the use of video for non-surveillance purposes, examples include:

  • Cameras used for academic educational purposes.
  • Cameras used for research purposes, which are subject to appropriate Institutional Review Board policies regarding human subjects.
  • Cameras used for journalistic purposes.
  • Cameras used for capturing public events and performances.
  • Construction web cameras.
  • Cameras installed or used for criminal investigations, which are subject to appropriate Hawaiʻi and Federal laws.
  • Webcams used for purposes of communication between specific persons

Legitimate security purposes for video monitoring and recording of public places include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Protection of individuals, including students, faculty, staff and visitors and the monitoring and recording pedestrian and vehicular traffic activity.
  • Protection of buildings and property. Areas that may be monitored include building perimeters, entrances and exits, lobbies, hallways and corridors, receiving docks, special storage areas, laboratories, cash handling locations, restricted access entrances to buildings and vehicle entrances and exits.
  • Verification of security alarms.
  • Monitor and record locations where intrusion alarms, security alarms and exit door controls are installed.
  • Video monitoring of public areas, including student registration and reception desks, athletic facilities, student activity and assembly centers and student housing areas.

Policy Statement

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo reserves the right to place video surveillance cameras on campus where necessary and appropriate. The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo respects the right to privacy of the university community members and balances the right to privacy versus the safety needs of the campus community.


  1. Access and Use
    • Only authorized personnel, as determined by this policy and authorized by the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs or designee, will be involved in, or have access to surveillance camera data.
    • Video monitoring for security purposes will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner. Personnel involved in active video monitoring will be trained and supervised in the responsible use of this technology.
    • Monitors for video equipment shall be installed in controlled-access areas and shall not be viewable by unauthorized persons.
    • The use of dummy or placebo cameras is prohibited.
    • Campus Security will have access to all surveillance camera data at the Campus Security office.
    • When an incident is suspected to have occurred, only authorized personnel may review the images from surveillance camera data.
    • Only the Director of Campus Security or his/her designee may authorize copies of surveillance images.
    • All requests to release of surveillance records must be authorized by Director of Campus Security.
    • In general, the University will not permit either the installation or use of cameras as a tool to monitor routine performance or the use of personal “webcam” or similar technology for surveillance purposes. Employees of any department with surveillance cameras shall be notified of such installation.
    • Recording of audio for surveillance purposes is prohibited.
    • Video monitoring will be conducted only in areas where the public does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
    • Video surveillance cameras shall not be specifically directed or zoomed into windows of any residential building, including residence halls.
    • University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Security and Safety Committee will periodically review this Policy and make recommendations for revisions, if any, to the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs
  2. Data and Access Log Storage
    • Recorded camera images will be retained for at least 30 days or more. All purchased devices must be capable of retaining media for at least this period of time.
    • A log documenting access to and use of data stored in the University’s centralized surveillance system will be maintained for a period of 12 months
  3. Release of Images
    The Director of Security will have the responsibility to evaluate and make decisions for the release of CCTV Recordings based on FERPA and the following criteria:
    • UH Hilo Security Department for legitimate investigative, safety and security reasons;
    • Law Enforcement agencies, where it is believed that the images will assist in a legal inquiry;
    • Prosecuting agencies;
    • Legal Representatives via a subpoena;
    • The media, where a decision has been made that it is needed in order to assist in the identification of victim(s), perpetrator(s) or witnesses in relation to a criminal incident. Any appeal of the Director of Security’s decision not to release CCTV recordings for any request may be appealed to the Security and Safety Committee for further consideration. The Committee will make a determination as to the appropriateness of releasing the recordings taking into account the concerns of the requesting party against the privacy interests and safety and security of the University. The Committee’s determination will be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs for decision.
  4. Device Procurement, Installation, and Maintenance
    • The installation of new surveillance cameras, their locations, and purpose must be approved in advance by the Director of Campus Security. Approval must be secured prior to the purchase of equipment.
    • Surveillance cameras must connect to the University’s centralized surveillance system in Campus Security, in accordance with University product, installation, maintenance, and support standards.
    • All costs associated with the purchase, installation, and maintenance of the system will be the responsibility of the requesting department.
    • All existing surveillance cameras must be connected to the University’s centralized system or risk removal of equipment. Requests for exemption should be submitted to and will be considered by the Director of Campus Security.
    • All authorized cameras and systems will be inspected annually to ensure that they are in proper working condition and meet policy guidelines.