Enterprise Camera Policy and Guidance


This Enterprise Camera Policy and Guidance (Policy) establishes guidelines for the enterprise camera system at Duke University’s main academic campus in Durham and the Marine Lab. This Policy is consistent with Duke’s interest in balancing overarching beliefs in privacy and academic freedom with risk management while managing safety and operational needs.


Where necessary and appropriate, Duke University will place security cameras on its main campus in Durham and at its Marine Lab for the purposes of aiding in protecting the safety of faculty, staff, students, and guests, protecting its institutional property, and deterring crime.


This Policy does not apply to Duke Hospitals, medical clinics, or School of Medicine facilities.  It does not apply where cameras are deployed and used for non-security purposes, including, but not limited to, teaching and learning, video conferencing, Duke Police body and vehicle cameras, and cameras used for specific law enforcement purposes.  Cameras for video conferencing, for classroom instructional support, or for academic or research uses in controlled space are not intended to be part of the Enterprise Camera System.  Real-time display of video images through a website authorized for community or public view will not be permitted unless authorized by the Committee. 


The Enterprise Camera Oversight Committee (the Committee) will assess and approve requests to install, modify or decommission enterprise cameras. The Committee will oversee the Policy development and strategy, including image viewing, retention, and release.  It is chaired by the Vice President for Administration and includes representatives from DUPD, Office of Risk Management, Office of Information Technology, Student Affairs, and Facilities and is advised by the Office of General Counsel.

Use and Installations

Enterprise cameras will be used in a professional and ethical manner in accordance with university policy and applicable laws. Duke will not permit audio monitoring or recording, dummy/fake cameras, or signs announcing the presence of cameras. 

Cameras generally cannot be installed in or view areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, which include but are not limited to:

  • Restrooms, locker rooms, lactation rooms
  • Private offices
  • Residential rooms or views through residential windows

As the proliferation of unregulated cameras is not in Duke’s interest, the Committee will review and approve new camera installations in public areas or shared workspaces, including conference rooms and classrooms. Budgets for such projects must include appropriate provisions for their integration into Duke’s Enterprise Camera infrastructure, for the ongoing maintenance and eventual replacement of the equipment, and for the operational expenses of storing and managing the recordings. 

Viewing Images

Only approved users from the owning operational unit, authorized by the Committee, may view images in real-time, or view images retained under the retention parameters.  Viewing must be for assessing and diagnosing the enumerated business purposes for which the cameras were installed. However, Campus police may monitor cameras and view images for law enforcement purposes.

Storing /Downloading Images outside of the Enterprise Camera storage

Users may only store images outside of Enterprise Camera storage with appropriate authorization. The following entities may authorize an approved individual to store images on local media and /or longer than the standard retention period:

  • Personnel performance issue:  Human Resources - Staff and Labor Relations
  • Operational issue:  Counsel’s Office (Risk Management)
  • Student behavior:  Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Criminal Issue: Campus Police

Images created and stored under this policy may only be copied and retained when consistent with this policy. All other images are subject to Duke’s IT Security Policy


Duke will retain recordings from the Enterprise Camera Systems for 30 days.  However, the Committee may determine other retention times, based on business needs. 

Stored/recorded images (Images) will only be released for specific, enumerated purposes.  For example, Duke may be required by law to provide electronic or other records or other information related to stored/recorded Images, as a result of investigations, subpoenas, lawsuits, or threatened litigation.  Such Images will be released under valid subpoenas or warrants and other legal holds as confirmed by the Office of General Counsel.  “Fishing expedition” requests to view recorded video to see what might be learned, either about a specific individual or in general, are not appropriate.

In rare cases, Duke may, in its reasonable discretion, conduct a review of Images where it is not legally or operationally compelled. In those cases, the Executive Vice President must give specific approval prior to review.


Alleged violations of this Policy will receive the same due process as any other alleged violation of Duke policy, contractual obligations, or state or federal laws.

Nothing in this Policy prevents the use of camera Images in connection with an active criminal investigation or specific court order.

March 2017