By Kevin Maxwell
This previous week I used to be studying a brand new ebook by Jon Fasman, the digital editor of the Economist. His ebook, We See It All, is a evaluate of surveillance and native police departments.
Whereas studying I reminded myself that the problems mentioned within the ebook about citizen privateness and new know-how being leveraged by legislation enforcement are usually not one thing that now we have needed to grapple with in Scottsdale. I’ve at all times discovered our police division to be clear and open to citizen inquiry.
That being mentioned, technological advances are offering legislation enforcement with new instruments to help in stopping, fixing, and prosecuting crime. These new instruments are efficient aids in policing, however what prices to privateness comes together with new know-how? Since now we have new management on the police division and a slate of newly elected metropolis leaders maybe it’s time to evaluate what we wish as a neighborhood?
Citizen Digital Patrols are digital camera networks which might be able to viewing giant swaths of the town in real-time.
Whereas most individuals can be comforted figuring out if one thing occurred there’s a robust chance it will be captured and be helpful in fixing against the law. However what occurs to that information as soon as it’s collected? Is video footage being archived of somebody’s whereabouts?
Is facial recognition getting used and in that case how is that information getting used?
Shot Spotters are used to detect acoustic intrusive sounds, resembling gunfire.
Statistics say that lower than 9% of gunshots lead to calls to police. A device that may alert police to gunshots being fired generally is a large benefit to police who want to reply shortly.
The query for these involved with privateness is how delicate are these Shot Spotters? Can they detect particular person conversations? Firms that present Shot Spotter instruments say no they’re unable to detect private conversations. However the query stays that now we have to depend on transparency from legislation enforcement and the tools producers to reply this query.
I reviewed the Scottsdale police web site to see if any of those instruments are being utilized in Scottsdale. I used to be unable to find out if any surveillance sort of kit is being deployed right now.
I’ve an amazing quantity of confidence that Scottsdale police function with citizen privateness in thoughts. I absolutely assist new know-how and new instruments to make the tough job of legislation enforcement more practical and safer. Nevertheless, as new know-how is launched, we should proceed to guage as a neighborhood the place that line between citizen rights and police capabilities intersect.
Editor’s Notice: Kevin Maxwell is a resident of Scottsdale.