Could Police Use Your Home Security Cameras?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 16, 2023 | 0 Comments

Delaware County law enforcement officials, in partnership with the private company Fusus, have proposed a real-time crime center. The goal of the project is to increase public-funded surveillance of high-crime areas and eventually allow private individuals to add their private surveillance systems to the public crime center's cloud network.

While the stated goal is to reduce crime, critics argue there's little evidence that the cameras decrease crime, especially when weighed against how these systems potentially reduce privacy and potentially create a surveillance state.

Building On Existing Programs

Delaware County already has an agreement with Fusus. They currently use the company's cloud system and cameras.

Some critics refer to the proposed center as mass surveillance. These systems tend to put a larger burden on areas that are densely populated and/or lower income, although being in a more suburban or wealthier area does not decrease the possibility of being under surveillance.

The Delaware County proposal would not be the first time law enforcement officials have used private cameras. As of 2019, over 600 law enforcement agencies have partnerships with Amazon's Ring system. During a Congressional hearing, Amazon said the burden was on Ring users to protect their privacy and that of non-users.

Orwellian Pennsylvania?

One of the problems with the proposed center is that technology is increasingly outpacing regulation. When technology outpaces the law, civil liberties and your right to privacy have a higher likelihood of being undermined.

Self Incriminating?

The proposal does not address if, after you opt-in to allow the crime center access to your cameras, law enforcement could use them against you.

Consider the following:

  • If a law enforcement official notices you lighting up a joint on your back patio and you don't have a medical marijuana license, could they charge you?
  • What if your underaged teenager throws a party with alcohol when you're out of town?
  • Do you have an obligation to guests visiting your home to inform them they may end up on a surveillance feed that law enforcement officials have access to?
  • While cameras can be a benefit in criminal trespass cases, how does the burden on you or law enforcement change if they already have access to your cameras?

These are questions that should be considered both by Delaware County officials and residents. Based on Amazon's congressional testimony, the burden to avoid being caught on camera engaging in these activities could be on a homeowner. If and when private property owners can add their cameras to the crime centers, they should first understand how and when these cameras could be used by law enforcement.

Protect Your Privacy and Your Rights

Reducing crime benefits all of society. Whether a crime-reduction program is effective should be balanced against the burden it places on the average person's privacy. Delaware County's proposal potentially places a heavy burden on the average person and erodes their right to privacy.

The increasing use of technology by law enforcement is a problem throughout both the country and Pennsylvania. The lack of updated laws means that you may be charged with crimes based on law enforcement taking advantage of these legal loopholes.

If you believe law enforcement has improperly used technology to charge or entrap you, contact the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team online or call 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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