Frederick considers restrictions on use of security cameras

The City of Frederick, Maryland, is considering only keeping its security camera footage for two months and would ban the arbitrary tracking of people.

The use of the cameras would be limited to public areas. Under the plan, the city’s cameras would not be allowed to record audio.

The proposed policy would specifically ban security camera operators from turning them or zooming in to watch a specific person, unless there’s a reasonable suspicion of a crime or a public safety risk.

“The City of Frederick is committed to protecting the individual rights and liberties when deploying and maintaining camera technology,” according to an executive summary from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. “This policy adds a level of accountability to these protections by explicitly explaining the results from misuse of the systems.”

The policy would also establish a security camera oversight group that would audit the system. Cameras maintained by Frederick police would continue to operate under separate police department rules.

Frederick police can use security cameras when they investigate crimes.

The video recordings would be automatically deleted after 60 days, with some exceptions.

According to a draft of the procedures, “If any recordings or images contain evidence of criminal activity or an occurrence thatmay be subject to civil liability, the recordings will be saved and maintained until final disposition of the case or applicable legal requirements.”

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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