Video Monitoring Cameras

Introduction

This webpage is intended to provide information about the video monitoring cameras that are used for safety and security purposes in the City of Vernon under the authority of the City of Vernon’s Video Monitoring Policy.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the purpose of the Video Monitoring Policy?

The Video Monitoring Policy promotes certainty and predictability by creating specific rules around the installation and use of cameras by the City of Vernon, and providing for meaningful oversight of compliance with these rules. This ensures the City complies with its legal obligations to protect privacy when it uses cameras, and aligns the City of Vernon with other Local Governments and Public Institutions that already have policies or guidelines governing camera use.

The Video Monitoring Policy promotes certainty and predictability by creating specific rules around the installation and use of cameras by the City of Vernon, and providing for meaningful oversight of compliance with these rules. This ensures the City com

The Video Monitoring Policy was developed by Senior Managers and reviewed and approved by the Chief Administrative Officer. Many other local governments and public institutions were contacted and their respective policies and procedures were reviewed and discussed in order to determine best practices. The policy and the program was implemented due to ongoing public requests to improve safety and security in certain areas of the City. The location of the video monitoring systems were chosen due to documented incidents of concern to our citizens.  

How was the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner consulted about the Video Monitoring Policy?

The guide provided by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) for video monitoring was reviewed and concepts were incorporated into the City’s policy. The City requested the OPIC to provide feedback about whether the proposed Policy is compliant with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The approved policy, combined with existing policies and practices at the City, is consistent with the OIPC’s direction. The City utilized advice provided to other Public Institutions by the OIPC to develop the wording and placement of signage used to notify the community about video monitoring cameras. After reviewing the City’s policy, the OIPC commented that “the policy appears to be comprehensive”.

What camera systems are covered by the Video Monitoring Policy?

The policy covers all camera systems that are intended to capture information about identifiable individuals, with the exception of camera systems used exclusively for:

  1. Video monitoring systems, such as certain traffic cameras, that do not collect information about identifiable individuals.
  2. Video monitoring conducted by the RCMP, which is subject to federal legislation.
  3. Videotaping or audio taping of City Council Meetings that are open to the public.
  4. Communications such as videoconferencing, or reception area systems used to permit staff to ensure service is available to approaching customers (e.g. electronic door opening, staff coverage).
Privacy Impact Assessment Process and Template

Under the Video Monitoring Policy, Divisions wishing to install video monitoring systems must submit a Privacy Impact Assessment for their camera systems and obtain a review from the Information Services Manager and the FOI Head for the City of Vernon. The Division Director would then review the completed Privacy Impact Assessment and decide to authorize the video monitoring system based on the completed Privacy Impact Assessment which would address compliance to the Policy.

Approvals are required as follows:
  • Privacy Impact Assessments for new or expanded camera systems must be approved before these systems are operational.
  • Privacy Impact Assessments for systems already in operation on the date this Policy came into force (April 5, 2018) must be submitted as soon as is practically possible.
The approval process follows the following steps:

Division staff prepare Privacy Impact Assessment using a common template.

 

  1. Division staff submit the draft Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) to their relevant Division Director for initial approval.
  2. Division staff submit the PIA to the Information Services Manager for review and comment
  3. IS Manager forwards the PIA to the FOI Head for review and comment
  4. The IS Manager or the FOI Head may suggest changes or provide recommendations not to proceed if there are areas of concern that should be dealt with in order to comply with the Video Monitoring Policy or other requirements.
  5. The Division Director reviews the comments and recommendations provided by the IS Manager and the FOI Head. If satisfied that it complies with the Video Monitoring Policy and Division Staff have reviewed and addressed any concerns noted during reviews, the Director will or will not authorize proceeding with the installation.

What is the City’s legal authority to collect and use personal information using the cameras?

The City is authorized to collect personal information using this Video Monitoring System under section 26(c) of the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”), i.e. the information relates directly to and is necessary for a program or activity of the City. The City is authorized to use this personal information under section 32(a) of the FIPPA, i.e. for one of the purposes set out in the Video Monitoring Policy, or for a use consistent with one of those purposes.

How do I get more information about the use of a video monitoring system?

General questions about the use of camera systems should be referred to the individual noted on the signage near the video monitoring system, or you may contact the City directly at 250-545-1361 or via email using our contact information on our website.