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What’s More Important? Privacy Or Preventing Crime?

Homeowners purchase home security cameras and devices for the additional security that they offer. Want a visual on who may have stolen a package from your front door, install a camera. Want to keep an eye on your vehicle parked in front of your home, install a camera. Want to be able to see whos at your front door before going to answer the door, yep they have a security camera for that too. But, how much security surveillance is too much? 

Amazon Ring

Residents of Jackson, Mississippi will be faced with this question, as a new 45-day pilot program launches. The program offers residents and businesses the opportunity to allow the police department to access footage from Amazon Ring security cameras. The goal is to help solve potential crimes that have occurred in the area. 

Current Program

The program, as it is currently outlined, indicates that residents and business owners must provide consent to allow access to their security cameras. In addition, these devices would only be accessed if a crime occurs in the area. If the camera and footage are accessed, the Real Time Crime Center will use the footage to determine escape routes, monitor for getaway vehicles, get visuals on suspects, etc. Footage would be accessed from multiple cameras in the area to attempt to pull together footage to assist in solving the crime. 

But, as we all know, the footage will show more than just a crime or the suspect. Depending on the time of day, it may catch footage of everyday activity that we may assume to be private. Entering and leaving our homes, checking the mail, coming home from a night out with friends, the occasional dog walker, and even your neighbors across the street.  

Invasion of Privacy?

So, is this an invasion of privacy, or is it a simple way to help prevent and solve criminal activity? It may come down to the transparency provided during the pilot program and the results. Transparency, in this case, may go beyond the homeowner or business owner that gives the consent. What about the neighbor across the street who is in the camera’s line of sight – should they be given the opportunity to give consent as well? It may not be their camera, but they may be captured doing something that they don’t want others to know about. But, then again, even without this pilot program in place, they are still being recorded on their neighbor’s security camera. 

What do you think? Is this type of pilot program going too far in terms of privacy and security, or would you welcome this type of monitoring in your neighborhood? Let us know what you think by leave us a comment on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter