Security Cameras Use Policy


The use of security cameras on UNL’s Lincoln Campus is for the purposes of safety, security, facilities management. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance in establishing the responsible use of an overt and covert security cameras program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the purpose of public safety, campus security, facilities maintenance, and campus operations.

Policy Scope

This document applies to all security cameras camera monitoring and camera recording with the exception of security cameras used for instructional or research purposes.

General Principles

UNL is committed to enhancing the security of the campus community by integrating state-of-the-art technology while preserving reasonable expectations of privacy. A critical technology in a comprehensive campus security and facilities maintenance plan is the use of closed circuit television.

  • Security cameras usage (includes purchasing, installing, maintaining, monitoring, networking, duplicating images, managing public expectations of security, and the publics’ right to know where security cameras is operated) must be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner and in accordance with accepted legal concepts regarding privacy. Personnel involved in video/audio monitoring must be appropriately trained and continuously supervised in the responsible use of this technology.
  • Any diversion of security technologies and personnel for other purposes (e.g. for example, but not limited to monitoring of political or religious activities) would undermine the acceptability of these resources for critical safety goals and is therefore prohibited by this policy.
  • Information obtained through the use of a security cameras program, or security cameras technology shall be used exclusively for police and security purposes, facilities operations and department operations; and shall be handled according to accepted law enforcement procedures and rules governing the handling of evidence.
    Dissemination of such information shall be conducted in a need to know basis in accordance with applicable State and Federal laws and University policies.
    • Police use of security cameras in non-public locations for investigative purposes requires the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Business of Finance in addition to obtaining appropriate legal authorization.
  • Audio recording may be incorporated into a security cameras program. Audio recording for quality assurance purposes is permissible with prior written authorization by the Vice-Chancellor responsible for that department.
    • UNL employees will be notified when they are being audio recorded for quality assurance purposes.
    • Notification will take the form of signage posted in the area of recording that notifies employees and the public that conversations are being recorded for quality assurance purposes.
    • Audio recordings may only be monitored or reviewed by the UNL department that employs the personnel being recorded and other departments which provide oversight to University operations.
  • Video monitoring shall be conducted in a manner consistent with University policies governing non-discrimination, sexual harassment and open expression. Except in situations of the investigation of a crime committed by a person(s) whose description is known, security cameras programs must not be based on individual characteristics, or classifications, including race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.
  • Information obtained in violation of the security cameras policy shall not be used in an employment disciplinary proceeding against a member of the University faculty, staff or student body. Information obtained in violation of this policy may subject the person responsible to University disciplinary action as well as appropriate legal action. These recordings shall be disposed of in accordance with UNL guidelines for non-evidentiary video.
  • Violations or breaches of any program protocols may subject those involved to civil or criminal liability under applicable state and federal laws governing security cameras video monitoring.
  • Violations of procedures adopted by UNL for video monitoring may result in disciplinary action consistent with the rules and regulations governing employees of the University up to and including discharge.


The highest requirement of security and quality of security cameras systems is for court purposes. Due to their work in this environment, University Police are responsible for overseeing and coordinating the use of security cameras and administering operating procedures on UNL’s Lincoln campuses. To maintain an informed University community, University Police will post information describing the purpose and guidelines for use of public security cameras and web cameras.

University Police will identify a responsible party for the implementation and oversight of the security cameras program. This designated security cameras oversight officer will be charged with facilitating input from, and conducting consultations with, the campus community. Such consultations shall identify the aspects of security cameras use, and should work toward securing support for practical and appropriate security cameras use in public places to enhance public safety, security and facilities maintenance.

Additional Responsibilities
  • University Police shall monitor and maintain relevant law and security industry practices to ensure that the UNL’s security cameras program is consistent with appropriate industry standards and legal protections.
  • All personnel involved in the supervision, application, use or monitoring of security cameras installations, collection of video or digital data, or other aspects of security cameras use, must receive appropriate training including, but not limited to the ethical limits of security cameras use and instruction in applicable campus policies, civil and criminal law, and this guideline. Training in the use of security cameras shall be provided by University Police.
  • UNL departments will be assessed an annual maintenance and upgrade fee proportional to the amount of their security cameras usage. This annual fee will reflect costs including, but not limited to, the following: support of the security network infrastructure supporting the campus’s security cameras operations, passive monitoring, and archival video or data retrieval.
  • UNL departments shall purchase security cameras systems or components from the campus approved security cameras vendor. The vendor shall provide an overall master plan for security cameras implementation upon request of a department. UNL departments may use this developed master plan as a guideline for their security cameras implementation.
  • Unless specified in a written agreement, UNL departments are responsible for the purchase, maintenance, and upgrade of security cameras equipment installed in their facilities.
  • All UNL existing uses of security cameras technology shall be brought into compliance with this guideline by December 31, 2007.