To protect privacy as well as ensure a consistent approach, Ohio University has approved a new video surveillance policy that will regulate the installation and use of such systems and standardize practices for the viewing, retention, dissemination and destruction of surveillance records.
Policy 44.119 also calls for the creation of a nine-member Surveillance Oversight Committee, which will include representation from all constituent groups.
Under the new policy, the chief of police or his designee will review all petitions asking the university to install, remove or forego the installation of a camera. The committee members will then review the chief of police's recommendations and make their own suggestions to the vice president for finance and administration, who will make a final decision. The committee will also review appeals of decisions made by the chief of police.
According to Nicolette Dioguardi, associate director of legal affairs, the newly formed committee will help to guarantee that privacy rights are not compromised. The committee will also ensure that video surveillance is used only in cases where it is the best and most efficient solution.
"Instead of being in the hands of one or two offices, it really opens it up for debate," Dioguardi said. "(This policy) is about making sure there is consistency not only in what is happening on the Athens campus, but also on the regional campuses."
The policy does not regulate the use of surveillance equipment for academic uses or as part of criminal investigations.
To view the full policy, visit www.ohio.edu/policy/44-119.html.