Would you let police access your security cams?
In brief: Security-conscious Jackson, Mississipi residents may soon be able to opt-in to give local police access to footage recorded by their own, private surveillance cameras. This footage would only be used to help track down criminals, and it could reduce or eliminate the need for official city surveillance cams in residential areas.
The city of Jackson is already letting some residents opt-in to a limited pilot program to test out this concept. If all goes well, it could expand across the rest of the city.
It should be noted that the cameras would only be accessed when or if a crime is reported in the area — otherwise, they operate as usual, and the police will reportedly not be looking in on your recordings.
“Ultimately, what will happen is residents and businesses will be able to sign a waiver, if they want their camera to be accessed from the Real Time Crime Center,”
“Ultimately, what will happen is residents and businesses will be able to sign a waiver, if they want their camera to be accessed from the Real Time Crime Center,” explains Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba in a statement to WLBT news. “It would save [us] from having to buy a camera for every place across the city.”
Although the privacy implications of this program are worth considering, the opt-in nature of this program should soothe the fears of at least some individuals who fear government spying.
Cloud-based crime data coordinator Fusus will be providing Jackson officials with the equipment they’ll need to connect to security cameras from companies like Ring and Arlo. Notably, these companies are not working directly with the city or law enforcement — indeed, Ring actively distanced itself from the program when contacted by Engadget.
This pilot program will run for 45 days in Jackson before its future will be discussed by the city’s leaders.
Image credit: BrandonKleinVideo