Security-conscious residents of Jackson, Mississippi, may soon be able to use a “selective join” pilot program that will allow local police to view video taken by their own private surveillance cameras,media Techspot reported. The video will only be used to help track down criminals, reducing or eliminating the need for official city surveillance cameras in residential areas. The city of Jackson has asked some residents to selectively join a limited pilot program to test the concept. If all goes well, it can be extended to other parts of the city.
It is important to note that cameras are only accessed when crime is reported in the area – otherwise they operate as usual and the police are said not to be able to view residents’ records.
“Ultimately, what will happen is that residents and businesses will be able to sign a waiver if they want their cameras to be accessible from the Real-Time Crime Center,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba explained in a statement to WLBT News. “This will save (we) the cost of having to buy a camera for every part of the city.”
While the privacy implications of the project are worth considering, the nature of the project’s selection should at least appease some individuals who fear government espionage.
Fusus, a cloud-based crime data coordination agency, will provide Jackson officials with devices they need to connect to security cameras at companies such as Bing and Arlo. It’s worth noting that these companies don’t work directly with the city or law enforcement — in fact, ring voluntarily distanced it from the program when Engadget contacted Ring.
The pilot project will run in Jackson for 45 days and then be discussed by city leaders about its future.