State Officials Right to Scrap Camera Spying Program, Says ACLU
Program Posed Threat To Privacy And Wasted Resources
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666; email@example.com
COLUMBUS- The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio was pleased that state officials announced today that they would not move forward with the Camera Integration Project (CIP). The program was designed to allow local officials access to an array of public and private surveillance cameras. The ACLU opposed the program as a dangerous encroachment of Ohioans’ privacy rights, and another increase in government surveillance of innocent Americans.
ACLU of Ohio Associate Director Gary Daniels said, “As technology has grown, so has the government’s desire to use it to spy on citizens. While it may be a powerful tool to keep us safe, we cannot accept these incremental invasions into our private lives without good reason and strong protections against abuse.”
In October 2010, the ACLU submitted a records request seeking all documents outlining who would have access to the system, when it may be accessed, penalties for the unauthorized use of the system, and who would responsible for oversight of the program. In its response, the state answered that they had not yet created many privacy protections to ensure the system would not be abused.
“Privacy should be one of the top concerns for public officials working with new technology, but it was clear that the CIP planners had given it little consideration. From its onset, the Camera Integration Program was ill-conceived,” added Daniels.
The ACLU has noted numerous privacy violations in recent years when proper protections were not in place. They included searches of Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher and American Idol contestant Crystal Bowersox’s state records, a Department of Public Safety attorney who pled guilty to intercepting emails intended for colleagues, and a Warren-area law enforcement officer using the police database to search for information on co-workers, neighbors, and local politicians.
“While we all wish to improve public safety, we must do so in a way that also protects the privacy of everyday Ohioans. As officials continue to seek out new uses for technology, they should do so only when meaningful safeguards are included to prevent snooping on innocent citizens,” Daniels concluded.
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in National Security
ACLU Acknowledges Improvements to DOJ Racial Profiling Policy, But Says Far More is Needed
ACLU Applauds Court For Allowing Case Challenging FBI’s Wrongful Prosecution of Chinese American Physics Professor To Move Forward
Shen v. Simpson
Chinese Immigrants Sue Florida Over Unconstitutional and Discriminatory Law Banning Them From Buying Land
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About National Security
The ACLU’s National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.