Security Camera Policy

Policy Purpose:

The Hamilton Public Library Board strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for members and staff while protecting individual rights to privacy. The Library recognizes the use of security cameras at Library facilities as part of the Library’s overall strategy to ensure the safety of persons and property. This policy will adhere to privacy requirements set out in the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In addition, this policy has been developed to follow the guidelines set out by the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario.  

Key Points Summary:

  • This Policy applies to all types of camera surveillance systems, surveillance monitors and camera recording devices that are used for security purposes at Library managed facilities. This policy does not address instances where library staff record a specific event (such as a program, or presentation). 

  • Security camera systems are a resource used by the Hamilton Public Library Board within the Board's jurisdiction to promote the safety of visitors, staff and community members. Where deployed for that purpose, these systems also help to protect library property against theft or vandalism and can assist in the identification of intruders and of persons breaking the law.  

  • In the event of a reported or observed incident, the review of recorded information may be used to assist in the investigation of the incident. The Library will maintain control of and responsibility for the security camera system at all times.  

  • Employees and service providers are expected to review and comply with this Policy, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), and other relevant statutes in performing any duties and functions that are related to the operation of the security camera program.  

  • The Chief Librarian will issue administrative procedures in support of this policy. 


Personal Information (taken from MFIPPA)- Recorded information about an identifiable individual, including, 

(a) information relating to the race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status of the individual, 

(b) information relating to the education or the medical, psychiatric, psychological, criminal or employment history of the individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved, 

(c) any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual, 

(d) the address, telephone number, fingerprints or blood type of the individual, 

(e) the personal opinions or views of the individual except if they relate to another individual, 

(f) correspondence sent to an institution by the individual that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature, and replies to that correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence, 

(g) the views or opinions of another individual about the individual, and 

(h) the individual’s name if it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name would reveal other personal information about the individual. 

IPC – Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario.  IPC oversees compliance with the privacy protection provisions of MFIPPA and conducts investigations into privacy complaints.  IPC also provides guidance regarding Ontario’s access and privacy legislation. 

MFIPPA – Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  The purpose of the Act is to provide a right of access to information under the control of institutions and to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by institutions.