Thanks for your article on video surveillance ("They'll be watching you," Nov. 14). The public needs to have a serious conversation about the use of such technologies, especially by law enforcement and other government agencies. SLOPD already has surveillance cameras in Meadow and Mitchell parks. Now the city is preparing to install them in Mission Plaza, our city's most important social and civic space and the site of many political actions and other events. SLOPD has now admitted to video monitoring of political activity in real time. They spied on the Women's March. Who else are they spying on? Does this make you nervous? It should!
Coming next—face recognition software, a creepy and dangerous technology that the police love but is notoriously inaccurate and demonstrably biased, resulting in disparate treatment of people based on gender and skin color.
Apparently, Mayor Heidi Harmon and City Manager Derek Johnson are just fine with all of this, but we should not be. Other cities across the country are instituting very strict rules to regulate the use of these dangerous technologies, or banning them outright. SLO should follow suit.
Barry A. Price
San Luis Obispo