Closed Circuit Television / Surveillance Cameras

Principles for Installation of CCTV Cameras and Reviewing of Recordings
Effective Date: 01 January 2019

Under the Authority of the University of Waterloo Act (1972), the University of Waterloo processes information—including personal information recorded about an identifiable individual—for the purposes of operating the programs and business functions of the university.  This collection, use, disclosure, retention, and destruction of information is done in compliance with (1) applicable Ontario and Canadian federal privacy legislation (e.g., Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Personal Health Information Protection Act, Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), as well as in accordance with (2) University of Waterloo policy and guidelines regarding privacy (Policy 46, Notice of Collection, website privacy statement).  Learn more about University of Waterloo Information and Privacy.

Guiding Principles:

The personal information collected by the use of video surveillance is collected under the authority of the University of Waterloo Act and must be necessary for the purpose of promoting public safety.  Any questions about this collection can be directed to the Acting Director, University of Waterloo Special Constable Service - Mike Becks.

Questions about the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by the University, should be directed to the Privacy Officer at

Request for installation:

  • The request for the installation of all CCTV, video recording device(s) will be made using the CCTV/Video Surveillance Application Form(s) (link) and forwarded to the Acting Director, University of Waterloo Special Constable Service (UWSCS) for consideration at
  • The Acting Director will liaise with UW Privacy Officer to determine the appropriateness of the installation and if approved, prioritize the installation of the device(s).
  • Consideration of installing cameras should be based on safety, security needs and NOT for the purposes of managing or monitoring Students, Staff or Faculty.
  • The financial responsibility for installation and all on-going cost related to the camera(s) rests with the Department or Faculty where the cameras reside.
  • All installed cameras must be compatible with the current standard used by the University of Waterloo.
  • All areas where cameras have been installed shall provide the following notice:

Video surveillance in use on these premises

  1. Application: Form 1

Review of CCTV (Historic) Recordings

  • The review of camera recordings will only be completed by UW Special Constable Service when investigating an allegation of an Criminal offence, Policy breach or Safety concern;
  • To further their investigation, UW Special Constable Service may allow others to review recordings in an attempt to identify people and understand activities;
  • CCTV recordings will only be available for viewing and monitoring by UW Special Constable Service;
  • There is no expectation that UW Special Constable Service will be continually monitoring CCTV cameras.

Camera(s) in need of Repair / Replacement / Cleaning

  • In the event that a camera(s) is found to be defective, in need of cleaning or replacing, the department/owner of the camera will be notified via email.

  • If within 14 days of notification, the camera owner fails to make the necessary arrangements for the repair, replacement or cleaning of the camera it shall be removed at the expense of the department/owner.  

Retention of CCTV Recordings

  • UW Special Constable Service may retain CCTV recordings related to investigations that remain open.
  • Normal retention of CCTV recordings is a minimum of 14 days or until overwritten (normally no longer than 30 days) as governed by the Records Classification and Retention Schedule.