Does The Public Have A Right To Know Where Surveillance Cameras Are Located?
from the rights-and-privacy dept
These days, people are beginning to recognize that surveillance cameras can be found all over — especially in major cities. There have even been semi-mocking “tours” held by civil liberties supporters who will walk around a city and point out all the surveillance cameras there are. But there is an open question: are cities that install such cameras required to tell people where they are? The NY Civil Liberties Union is now suing the NY Police Department for not revealing where it’s installing surveillance cameras, claiming that the public has a right to know this kind of information. Of course, the whole thing is a bit odd, as one of the major points of these surveillance cameras is deterring crime — and what better way to deter crime than to let people know they’re being watched. As the article notes, it sounds like the NYPD may be holding back this info just because it doesn’t like the NYCLU. Alternatively, there’s some thought that the info on the cameras will show that they’re not particularly effective.
And, of course, even if people know where the official surveillance cameras are located, it might not matter, since New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg has actively encouraged NYC citizens to be their own security cameras — videotaping and photographing anything suspicious and sending it to officials. One would assume that the NYPD wouldn’t be able to publish where every person with a camera is located as well.