“So how do they reconcile ‘defund the police’ with ‘stop the smash and grabs’? [Tech businessman Chris] Larsen believes he has the answer: Put security cameras in the hands of neighborhood groups. Put them everywhere. He’s happy to pay for it…. Privatization is hardly a new thing in the city. Around a quarter of San Francisco parents send their children to private school… Plenty of people already have security cameras pointing toward the street. So would a privately owned camera network be so out of bounds?… Neighbors band together and decide where to put the cameras. They are installed on private property at the discretion of the property owner, and in San Francisco many home and business owners want them. The footage is monitored by the neighborhood coalition. The cameras are always recording. The cameras are not hidden…. When crime-fighting is put into civilian hands, new and unregulated behaviors can emerge. San Francisco’s police are controlled by many laws that do not apply to civilians. One of those laws is that the police in the city may not use facial-recognition technology…. The technology that Mr. Larsen is using is sophisticated… ‘designed to scale up to do license plate reading and facial recognition’… Mr. Larsen balked at the idea of his cameras using facial recognition: ‘We’re strongly opposed to facial recognition technology… Facial recognition is too powerful given the lack of laws and protections to make it acceptable.'”
From “Why Is a Tech Executive Installing Security Cameras Around San Francisco?/Chris Larsen knows that a crypto mogul spending his own money for a city’s camera surveillance system might sound creepy. He’s here to explain why it’s not” (NYT).