MBTA to Add Thousands of Security Cameras, Including Inside Buses and Trains
The MBTA plans to double the number of cameras watching riders. Many riders say that's fine with them, but a civil liberties advocate urges caution.
At the lower bus way of busy Forest Hills station, it's hard to find riders who are upset about the T's plans to double the number of security cameras.
Roslindale commuter Hector Serrano said there's balance between the safety the cameras are said to offer and the potential invasion of privacy.
"In life you have to give something to get something," he said under the watchful eyes of at least two overhead cameras.
The T plans to add thousands of cameras — they won't say exactly how many — via millions in federal grants, the Globe reports.
The new cameras will go in places they haven't been before, like inside buses and trains. One civil libertarian warns that the cameras haven't been proven to deter crime and that they come with a heavy cost of accepting a surveillance state.
In a blog post on boston.com, Kade Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union says the T has told us nearly nothing about how it plans to use the cameras.
Will it implement advanced biometrics, allowing agents to identify you and pull up your file with a simple click? Will it use advanced video tracking analytics that allow monitors to search thousands of cameras for spontaneous gatherings, perhaps a crew of people walking to a bar, or an impromptu protest? We simply don't know.
But moving through the crowd of residents waiting for a bus today at Forest Hills, people from nurses heading home to Hyde Park to young men on their way home to Dorchester after a basketball camp, no one said they were worried about the new cameras.
The T touts cameras as helping solve crimes like a recent stabbing at Ashmont Station. A suspect was found after his image was caught on security cameras and publicized.