External cameras on TTC surface vehicles
External-facing cameras on TTC vehicles (bus, streetcar and Wheel-Trans) will be activated as of January 28, 2019. These cameras help the TTC:
- investigate incidents involving our vehicles
- support the investigation of customer complaints and claims
- enhance public and customer safety
Toronto is one of the last municipalities in Ontario to implement forward-facing and external cameras on surface vehicles, and this has been a long-standing gap in our incident investigations model.
The Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner requested that the TTC remain transparent with customers as well as the public when implementing external cameras on surface vehicles. The TTC conducted a public consultation meeting on October 9, 2018, as well as an online survey for several weeks after, which closed on October 24, 2018. The purpose of this public consultation was to increase public awareness on the topic, and to receive feedback, comments and concerns prior to implementation.
Data use and management
All download and copy requests for TTC CCTV will be managed and prepared by the Video Services Unit.
External cameras will be primarily used to capture vehicle-pedestrian, and vehicle-vehicle incidents. Regarding Toronto Police Services (TPS) access to video footage:
- Using our current processes, the TTC will release video to law enforcement agencies for any incident that is directly related to the TTC. The criminal act itself must be related to the TTC.
- For law enforcement video requests that are not directly related to the TTC, upon notification the TTC will secure the video. However, this same video will not be released to the requesting law enforcement agency until a production order is obtained and provided to the TTC.
- In exigent circumstances, to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to any person, the TTC may release video to law enforcement agencies without a production order (e.g. immediate homicide investigations, acts of terrorism, child abductions).
All individuals under MFIPPA have rights to access to their video footage. Individuals who are recorded may request any video footage of themselves through a Freedom of Information (FOI) procedure. It should be noted however that requesting individuals would be required to pay a redaction fee, and all images/identifiers of other private persons (not including TTC employees and emergency responders) would be redacted in the footage before the copy is granted.
The data will be retained for a period of 72 hours on buses and streetcars, and a period of 7 days on most Wheel-Trans vehicles. The video footage on the vehicles that is not downloaded will be overwritten on a rolling basis (similar to internal camera footage on vehicles).