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Home / WorldTech / Critics call NYPD's drone deployment 'a serious threat to privacy'

Critics call NYPD's drone deployment 'a serious threat to privacy'



 Buzz buzz.
buzz buzz.

Image: John M Lund Photography Inc / getty

Drones are coming to NYC, and that should worry you.

So argues the New York Civil Liberties Union, which in a Dec. 7 statement blasts the forthcoming NYPD deployment of the flying surveillance bots as "a serious threat to privacy." The 14 police drones, which The New York Times June have been described as having been used by police in June. However, the development sees the deployment as the start of a very slippery, privacy-eroding slope.

After all, large crowd of people often gather together to lawfully protest something like, say, police brutality. Or, as the NYPD specific notes as a drone-appropriate example (according to the NYCLU), the Women's March.

"The NYPD's drones are equipped with sophisticated technology and 4K resolution," notes the NYCLU.

Notably, the NYPD insists that the policy governs the use of its drones prohibits it from doing so equipping the devices with facial recognition tech. However, as the NYCLU correctly points out, the carved out that allows to use facial recognition tech on drone footage in the poorly defined case of a "public safety concern" is just begging to be abused.

 A M210 RTK drone.

A M210 RTK drone.

Image: LANCE ULANOFF / MASHBALE

"One of our biggest fears is that these devices may have legally exercised their constitutional rights "notes the NYCLU. "The NYPD's policy does not address our concerns."

The NYPD has an unblemished record when it comes to surveying those who swore to protect and serve it.

According to the New York Times the drones are a mix of Mavic Pro quadcopters, M210 RTK quadcopters, and a DJI Inspire quadcopter. And, if the NYCLU is right, you may need to.

"[The] NYPD's drone policy places no meaningful restrictions on police deployment in New York City," notes the group, adding "and opens the door to the police department building a permanent archive of drone footage of political activity and intimate private behavior visible only from the sky. "

Buzz buzz. Time to stock up on nice curtains.

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