Pilot Program Allows Private Security Cameras

Pilot Program Allows Private Security Cameras to Record Public in Newport Beach

Residents of Newport Beach are debating a new pilot program that permits private security cameras in public places.

The program allowing privately owned and operated cameras to record public spaces like sidewalks and streets was approved by city council members with no disagreements.

The security cameras, according to residents of Newport Beach’s Spyglass Hill neighborhood, will improve neighborhood surveillance and discourage potential burglars from targeting homes.

Additionally, the program would have signs alerting drivers that they are being recorded as they enter the neighborhood.

The majority of the residents seem to be in favor of the program, but some are worried about privacy invasions.

“This is just a wonderful community but I was burglarized soon after we moved in,” said one resident in a recent city council meeting. “Like other people, I felt horribly violated. There were three burglars on our street.”

“Homeowners have asked us what else we can do,” said Bruce Horn, the head of the HOA for the area. “Thus, the idea of installing solar-powered, authorized capturing cameras made a lot of sense.”

As HOA members looked for places to put up cameras, they soon learned that they couldn’t because the potential locations were on city-owned right-of-ways.

Recently, the city council decided to make an exception for the neighborhood and permit the installation of the cameras.

“So they may be on medians or other public land that typically under the city policies, these would be off limits to any private use,” explained John Pope, a representative for Newport Beach. “The city council did, therefore, make an exception.”

Public areas close to light poles or street signs are a few examples of where the cameras can be found.

Some safeguards will be put in place to address any privacy concerns as part of the pilot program’s policy that the city has adopted.

“It’s very specific about the cameras,” Pope said. “They cannot use facial recognition, record audio, or point into any personal spaces. They must be fixed, and they can only be pointed at public rights of way.”

“If it makes a couple feel uncomfortable, I don’t understand that,” Horn said. “Just the license plate capturer. That’s all; it doesn’t trap faces or people. Therefore, they don’t need to worry. The advantage is that it would be a huge victory for our community if we could reduce burglaries.”

The pilot program was given permission to run until September 2024. The effectiveness of the program will then be assessed to determine whether it should be renewed.

Read More: Can Security Cameras See Inside Cars?

Source: ktla

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