POLL: Would You Be Okay With the MTA Installing Audio Surveillance?

Posted On Wed, April 20, 2016 By

Posted On Wed, April 20, 2016 By In City Living, Polls, Transportation

Have you ever noticed those signs on a train or bus that say “video and audio systems in use?” If not, you might want to start paying closer attention, because the notifications are actually warning you, the rider. NPR took a closer look at the use of video and audio surveillance on public transportation, the latter of which has been increasing across the country in recent years, especially as of late with the heightened fear of terrorist attacks.

NJ Transit is the latest agency to add audio recorders, putting them on their light rail trains. Many riders feel it’s an invasion of privacy, and Ed Barocas, legal director of the ACLU New Jersey, told WNYC “There are laws that say you can’t surveil conversations that you aren’t a part of, when a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.” But NJ Transit is unwilling to answer specific questions about how the data is stored and for how long, stating simply “We’re using every available technology to deter criminal activity on our system.” This got us wondering, how would New Yorkers feel if the MTA followed suit — would they respect the safety precautions or feel violated?

Image of audio recorder via Oran Viriyincy/Flickr

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