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This document is guidance, not policy. 


Berkeley Lab makes extensive use of cameras and video monitoring to accomplish its scientific mission and are a critical component of Berkeley Lab's work. For example:

  • Scientists use cameras to broadcast live experimental systems.
  • Scientists use cameras to broadcast live experimental areas to collaborators to share operational awareness on collaborative work.
  • Employees use cameras to provide operational awareness in workspaces and scientific areas. 
  • Employees use cameras to participate in video and web conferencing.
  • Protective Services uses cameras to help protect Berkeley Lab.
  • Seminars and lectures are streamed or recorded.

  • Individuals use cameras and video recording devices for incidental personal use.

Video and audio recording devices can take many forms and can be found in many types of devices, including:

  • Dedicated security devices,
  • PCs and laptops,
  • Tablets, smartphones, smartwatches.
  • Wearable devices (e.g. Google Glass, bodycams).

The ubiquity of video and audio recording devices and the fact that most of these devices can connect to a network raises privacy concerns. This document is meant to provide guidance to balance privacy concerns with the use of video and audio recording devices.  It applies to all recording devices, without regard to ownership, and to all staff, affiliates, and guests. 

Use Categories

Most video and audio recording devices at Berkeley Lab falls into one of the following use categories.

  1. Berkeley Lab physical security.
  2. Scientific purposes.
  3. Non-physical security operational use.
  4. Incidental personal use.

Video or audio recording device should not be used for multiple purposes if possible. For example, a camera for scientific collaboration should not also be used for physical security and physical security cameras should not be used for incidental personal use.

Berkeley Lab Physical Security

  • Video and audio recording devices for Berkeley Lab physical security should be coordinated with Protective Services and be dedicated systems.
  • Access to these devices and recordings should be restricted to the minimum required to monitor for physical security concerns.
  • The deployment of cameras for Berkeley Lab physical security is determined after an assessment of the need and risk.
  • Use, access, disclosure and retention of recordings from physical security devices is dependent upon the assessed physical security.

Scientific and Operational Use

Berkeley Lab IT policy is applicable to scientific and operational use of recording devices.

  • If at all possible, provide notice in the area that the area is subject to video monitoring or recording.
  • Provide contact information for any recording device if it is not obvious.
  • In the cases of invited speakers and talks, try to remind the audience and presenter that the seminar is being streamed and/or recorded.
  • Reasonably restrict web cameras to the set of users needed for the given cameras.  For example, a lecture or seminar may most reasonably be shared with the public, while a camera serving a beamline collaboration might more usefully be restricted to users involved in the collaboration.
  • Consider turning off the monitoring or recording system if requested by an individual.
  • Be mindful in avoiding the perception of monitoring employee behavior.
  • Requests for recordings for investigations or physical security concerns must go through official investigation channels.

Incidental Personal Use

Berkeley Lab has policy about incidental personal  and acceptable use that are applicable to cameras and recording devices.

  • Let people know you are recording, if possible.

  • Avoid recording individuals who do not want to be recorded.

  • Consider the potential audience and ramifications of any videos or audios you post on a network.

  • Consider turning off the device if requested by an individual.

  • Avoid recording in other people's offices.

  • Avoid appearing as though your recording officially represents Berkeley Lab or UC.

    • Existing Berkeley Lab policy addresses the proper use of the Berkeley Lab and UC name and officially representing Berkeley Lab.

General Privacy

  • Do not use recording devices (hidden or otherwise) for the purposes of investigating allegations of wrongdoing.

    • Only the Investigations Workgroup can approve the use of technology for investigations (this is already reflected in Berkeley Lab policy).
  • Do not assume that any video or audio that you are posting "privately" will remain private.
  • Not everybody likes to be recorded.
  • In general, there is no expectation of privacy in any common spaces at Berkeley Lab.

Cyber Security

  • Implement appropriate cyber security controls on internet connected cameras and monitoring systems to ensure that the privacy controls you adopt remain implemented.  

  • Patch camera OS/Firmware and, if possible, restrict network access via software or hardware. 

  • Use strong passwords and generally treat the camera as any other piece of computer hardware.

Procurement of Recording Devices

  • There are no privacy restrictions on the procurement of recording devices, including devices where a camera is an integral part of the device, e.g. laptops and smartphones.
  • Procurement of dedicated recording devices for Berkeley Lab physical security should be coordinated with Protective Services.
  • The procurement of Berkeley Lab recording devices should follow existing procurement processes and requirements.


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