Health & Safety

Surveillance Camera Guidelines


Carleton College is committed to enhancing the quality of life of the campus community by integrating the best practices of safety and security with technology. A critical component of a comprehensive security plan is the utilization of a surveillance camera system. The surveillance of public areas is intended to deter crime and assist in protecting the safety and property of the College. It is an extension of the college’s law enforcement function even though it is managed by Auxiliary Services.

These guidelines address the College’s safety and security needs while respecting individual privacy of those attending, working or visiting Carleton College. To ensure the protection of individual privacy rights and related state and federal laws, this statement formalizes the process of installing surveillance equipment on College property. Additionally, these guidelines pertain to the viewing, retention, dissemination, and destruction of recordings.

Installation Procedures and Locations

The use of surveillance cameras is limited to uses that do not violate a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy”, as that term is defined by law. All surveillance cameras, including those in temporary locations or for active monitoring, will only be installed with the advance approval of the Director of Security Services and the appropriate College vice president. The College’s use of surveillance cameras for monitoring or recording must be used in a professional, ethical, and legal manner consistent with all existing College policies. Although not legally required to do so, the College will inform student employees when surveillance cameras are utilized in the workplace.

The College will limit camera positions and views of certain areas. Any view within a residential area will be no greater than what is available with unaided vision. Surveillance cameras will not view private bedrooms, bathrooms, locker room dressing/shower areas, offices, classrooms not used as a lab, or areas through windows. Surveillance cameras will be installed and configured to prevent tampering with or duplicating recorded information. All new installation of surveillance cameras must connect to the College’s main system.


Only authorized personnel, as determined by the Director of Security Services and appropriate College vice president, will be involved in, or have access to, surveillance monitoring. The existence of this policy does not imply or guarantee that cameras will be monitored in real time 24 hours a day, seven days a week, however the College reserves the right to do so.

Retention and Release of Information

Images obtained through surveillance monitoring or recording will be retained for a length of time deemed appropriate for the purpose of monitoring, but not to exceed 90 days, unless such images have historical value, or are being used for a criminal and/or judicial investigation in accordance with this policy. Surveillance recordings will be stored in a secure location with access by authorized personnel only.

College personnel are prohibited from using or disseminating information acquired from surveillance cameras except for official purposes. All information and/or observations made in the use of surveillance cameras are considered confidential and can only be used for official College and law enforcement purposes. Information and results obtained through surveillance monitoring or recording will only be released when authorized by the Director of Security Services and the appropriate College vice president. 

All requests from sources external to the College for the release of information and results obtained through surveillance monitoring or recording must be submitted to the Director of Security Services.

Last Revised: July 1, 2013

For: Faculty, Staff, Students

Last Reviewed: August 1, 2022

Maintained by: Auxiliary Services