Connecticut Police Drone Program Nixed After Privacy Concern Backlash
In an effort to enforce social distancing Westport, CT Police were going to use drones for surveillance.
According to Fox News, public backlash over privacy concerns has cause the Department to shut the program down before it even got started. Westport Elected Official Jim Marpe had this to say:
In our good faith effort to get ahead of the virus and potential need to manage and safely monitor crowds and social distancing in this environment, our announcement was perhaps misinterpreted, not well-received, and posed many additional questions. We heard and respect your concerns and are therefore stepping back and re-considering the full impact of the technology and its use in law enforcement protocol.
David McGuire of the Connecticut chapter of the ACLU added this:
We are not hearing a cry for new surveillance technologies, the urgent need at the moment, according to public health experts, is to ramp up testing capability, suppress transmission through social distancing measures, and support our hospitals as they face an influx of patients.
I'm all for social distance enforcement from the Police Department, but I'm glad the drone thing got shut down. For me, it has less to do with privacy concerns and more to do with the people they'd be trying to catch in the act.
The kind of person who's ignoring social distancing guidelines at this stage of the game is the same kind of person who will shoot/throw rocks at a drone in an attempt to bring it down. I think Westport, CT saved some drone money.