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Cameras at SNSF

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Cameras at SNSF

Last updated: July 10, 2023

Various areas within the SNSF laboratory space are equipped with video cameras. The video from those cameras is recorded for a period of from one to two months. The purpose of these cameras is to document issues such as dangerous misuse of chemicals, improper storage and handling of chemicals, and to document the improper use of machines. It is also used as an aid towards diagnosing or troubleshooting machines, by creating a timeline to discover what was going on prior to the machine starting to have problems (i.e.: when a spinner's vacuum circuit became clogged). The Stanford Department of Public Safety may also request video footage for a forensic investigation of a crime.

The cameras are not monitored in real time. As such, the cameras do not provide any measure or guarantee of safety or security while the labs are in use.

No sound is monitored or recorded as prohibited by state law and the standards.

These cameras are also not intended to be used for any sort of work or job performance evaluation of any Stanford students or employees. 

However, if it is discovered through recorded video by the system administrator(s) that a particular person is violating serious safety rules of the labs, endangering lab user's safety, or damaging equipment in the lab due to misuse or blatant disregard for usage rules and policies, that person will be subject to a disciplinary hearing resulting in possible administrative action.

Stanford University Video Safety and Security Standards:


Privacy: Monitors on desktop computers and personal laptop computers may fall within view of the cameras, which is not the intention. Therefore, if you have anything visible on your laptop computer or desktop computer, know the location of the cameras so that you can ensure your privacy. The control panel monitors on certain machines (such as the Kurt Lesker Evaporator, and the Oerlikon Leybold Sputter Machine) may fall within view of certain cameras. The computers of those machines only run proprietary software for the operation of those machines. And since those machines are not normally connected to the internet (only occasionally for remote factory service requirements), no personal information or communications should ever be visible on those screens. Recorded video footage of those monitors on those machines may be accessed after instances of tool damage to determine how the damage occurred.


The following document indicates camera locations and general viewing areas.