As the saga of the MTA’s pesky surveillance cameras continue, Metro’s Carly Baldwin reports that the authority is turning to the NYPD to help get the cameras up and running. The transit authority is trying to install nearly 1000 new cameras this month, but its surveillance project has run into a few speed bumps including a law suit. With the NYPD’s help, the authority hopes to have the $20-million program operational soon. “They’re going to the right people to help them fix a system that doesn’t work too well,” Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said. “What they said was, ‘We have a problem and we’re trying to figure it out.’ Give Walder credit: When things aren’t working, he tries to fix them.”
According to the article, these are just for subway station cameras. For a moment I was hoping it was referring to bus-lane cameras.
I did the same double-take. It’s funny how installing 1000 new cameras to spy on subway passengers, the vast majority of whom are breaking no law, is hardly questioned. But cameras that would the curtail rampant motorist lawbreaking that makes our bus lanes almost useless were firstly considered a privacy violation, and now they’re just inexplicably dolled out in tiny amounts. We wouldn’t want too much transportation efficiency and lawfulness, I suppose.
I feel your cynicism, but I’d add that certain organizations are questioning the cameras (and the procedures involved in data storage and use)– notably, the NYCLU.