Privacy, safety are central to new policies

The university community has about six weeks to comment on two new policies in development that focus on privacy and safety issues surrounding drones and video camera use.

Send your feedback

Comments and questions on the policies can be submitted through Nov. 16 by email.


A proposed amendment to an existing facilities and grounds use policy provides approval procedures for the operation of drones and other unmanned aircraft on ISU property -- indoors and outdoors. Commercial users must request written approval from facilities planning and management, provide proof of insurance and comply with federal regulations. The use of drones at the research and demonstration farms must be approved by the ISU farms director.

Drones used for university purposes, by university employees, must be approved by a central flight operations manager. However, the policy amendment does not apply to research, academic and extension use approved by either the senior vice president and provost or the vice president for research. Those requirements are outlined on the VPR website.

Video cameras

The video camera draft policy offers guidelines for administrative use -- specifically crime prevention, public spaces and customer service. It does not apply to video camera use for academics (research, extension), public events (athletics, music, theater), training programs, journalism (news, marketing) and standard police practices.

The policy guidelines are intended to protect personal privacy and adhere to legal standards. For instance, cameras must not monitor or record conversations without consent. Other proposed policy requirements include:

  • 30-day retention limit for recordings
  • Camera placement that avoids privacy invasion
  • FPM authorization for camera installation and placement