A new camera installed on your vehicle and a camera mounted on your truck are being used by the San Diego Police Department to monitor traffic on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, officials said.The cameras are installed on vehicles that are being pulled by tow trucks, and police are asking for your help in installing them on your vehicles, police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said Monday.Zimmerman ...
A new program to capture traffic camera video and provide it to police departments is drawing criticism for potentially violating First Amendment protections.CBS News reporter Ben Gittleson reports on the program, called TrafficCam, which is under development in Dallas.CBS’ coverage of the program has sparked intense criticism from privacy advocates, civil rights groups, lawmakers and tech companies.
The program is designed to help reduce traffic fatalities and the use of deadly force, but critics argue that it is likely to lead to more police misconduct and potentially endanger the safety of the public.
The program uses cameras to monitor traffic and to collect traffic violations.
Police are required to install the cameras in public spaces, and in most cases they have to follow strict guidelines.
The cameras are linked to databases of license plate numbers that police have to search.CBS news’ Brian Kenny reports that the program is not being tested in Dallas, but it is being used in other cities and that the data collected will be used to build an electronic database of traffic violations, according to the program’s website.
But privacy advocates say the program will also allow police to see footage from vehicles that are not recorded and to use that footage to prosecute officers.
“I think it’s wrong to be collecting license plate data,” said Brian Fallon, president of the Texas Civil Rights Project, which supports privacy protections for people of color.
In June, the city of Dallas adopted a “zero tolerance” policy for police misconduct that prohibits any kind of conduct that could potentially cause harm to a person, and it also requires officers to keep all video footage of interactions confidential.””
What it’s going to do is create an opportunity for police to be very, very abusive.”
In June, the city of Dallas adopted a “zero tolerance” policy for police misconduct that prohibits any kind of conduct that could potentially cause harm to a person, and it also requires officers to keep all video footage of interactions confidential.
“It’s the same thing we saw in the last two years with dash cams, where we have the ability to use the footage to determine what happened, and we have it in the cloud, and now we can use that information to help us prosecute people who commit crimes,” Fallon said.
“I’m not sure how that is going to work in the digital world, but I think it will be bad for police officers.”
Civil rights groups have also expressed concerns that the camera program will result in an increased use of force against people of colour.
A lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights says that police in Dallas violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by using the program to track people of different races and ethnicity.
Dallas police did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment.