/MH approves video surveillance policy 

MH approves video surveillance policy 

By Chad Ingram

Minden Hills councillors adopted a video surveillance policy for the township during a special July 23 online meeting, and a subsequent report will come back to the council table regarding specific locations for security
That policy is based on one passed by Haliburton County council in June, and during their meeting last week, Minden Hills councillors heard from county IT director Mike March.
“The IT department has been asked to assist with the implementation of a video surveillance system  at the S.G. Nesbitt Arena,” read a report from March. “Due to the threat of privacy breaches, improper use and collection of video, and the risk of liability associated with this type of surveillance, it is important that  strong  policies and procedures are in place before the township implements any video surveillance project.  Therefore the director of IT has been asked to bring forward a draft video surveillance policy for  council consideration.”
In drafting the policy, March looked at policies in place in other municipalities. Its guiding principles include that data from cameras would be collected only when authorized by statute, required by law enforcement, “or when necessary to the proper administration of a lawfully authorized activity”; minimizing the amount of data that is collected; retaining data for no longer than it is required; using data only for the purpose for which is collected; taking all reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorized access to data; notifying individuals through signage that video surveillance is in use; and not disclosing data unless the disclosure is “with consent from the
individuals whose personal information appears in the images; in response to a Freedom of Information request; or requested by law enforcement to aid an investigation.”  March’s report noted the policy had been reviewed by law firm Ewart O’Dwyer.
Councillor Bob Carter wondered what the cameras meant in terms of residents’ reasonable right to privacy, and March said that if the township was required to submit a tape with a suspected criminal, say, then the tape
would be edited in such a way as to protect the identities of those outside the suspect.
A report detailing possible locations for security cameras was scheduled to come before council at a July 30 meeting.