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Public surveillance

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posted on May, 28 2008 @ 08:20 AM
I was wondering about Public surveillance laws in NYS. my school is currently putting in a new camera system to watch us, and i was wondering where they cant film, besides bathrooms and locker rooms. i once heard you cant film the enterence to those places either. does anyone know if thats true?

posted on May, 28 2008 @ 09:41 AM
I think the law comes down to "reasonable expectation of privacy", so as you said the cameras can't be placed in bathrooms, showers, or changing areas of the school. I would argue that the entry to such areas from a common area such as a hallway or connecting room you don't have that expectation of privacy so the surveillance would be legal.

I had heard of a case a few years ago where a large corporation was sued for monitoring the entrance to staff bathrooms and timing how long an employee was in the facility. The company claimed it was their right to monitor employee production and the cameras were placed to improve efficiency with no intent to invade the privacy of their employees.

I wish I could remember the particular case, but I know the company won.

New York is now considering the use of face recognition technology in public places, and this could include schools. The reasoning behind the argument is that schools will know who is on the premises and that staff would be alerted to someone in the building that shouldn't be there.

Nationwide, 31 percent of all elementary and secondary public school classrooms use CCTV for classroom education. In addition, 49 percent of all elementary and secondary public school administrative offices rely on CCTV to monitor classroom activities. 74

In a recent nationwide telephone survey of public schools, 47 percent of the respondents indicated that CCTV video surveillance is being used in some capacity in a school as a crime prevention measure. According to the survey, most schools use the CCTV video surveillance to monitor entranceways and parking lots, hallways, stairways, and cafeterias........

Another case that came before the courts in the US was the placement of cameras in a public washroom by the police to catch men having sex. The defendants argued they had that expectation of privacy in the washroom even though the cameras did not monitor the stalls or urinals. The police lost that case because of that law.

You can expect these laws to be continually tested before the courts because those that watch will always want more. You can also expect what privacy you have to be eroded as time goes by and more agencies and organizations argue that it's all for your safety and own good.
After all, their only motivation is to care for you.

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