Member Discussion

Proposed Bill To Require Private CCTV Camera Registration

Not that I think this bill has a chance of being passed, but one of our dumber assemblymen wants to allow municipalities to create registries of privately owned outdoor cameras. They'd make you register the name and contact info of the camera owner, the number of cameras, "the outdoor areas recorded by the camera", and "the means by which the camera’s footage is saved or stored, and the duration of time for which the footage is saved or stored", along with "any additional information the municipality deems necessary".

Information will be made available to law enforcement and subpoenas in criminal cases, and not subject to FOIA requests.

See a bunch of morons debate this issue with other morons here.

Hypothetically, what do you think would happen to surveillance camera usage / sales if this passed?

Well, adding a level of pain-in-the-neck can only serve to discourage new installations by DIYers and electricians or IT techs or anyone who isn't primarily a surveillance integrator. Filing the paperwork, dropping it off at the municipal offices, possibly paying some kind of filing fee... Whether it discourages new installations enough to be significant isn't something I can predict. Integrators won't care, you already have to file paperwork to install an alarm or fire protection or datacomm in most places, filing the CCTV paperwork will soon be routine and they go to the municipal offices on a regular basis anyway.

The concept of this proposal is good, identify locations of cameras that could possibly solve a crime. The fact that they are making this mandatory to register is where I see problems. I would rather see this done as a voluntary offering of the residents/area businesses. I would imagine that this would be better received.

Of all the hair-brained, moronic ideas....

Oh, it's New Jersey. Never mind ;-)

I have heard about this, the city I live in is in its infancy of implementation.

A number of cities are now setting up a public registration site for personal cctvs. I personally don't ever see it coming down to a "have to register" situation though. I have seen a nuseveral episodes of "First 48" where police detectives drive neighborhoods looking for cctvs on houses.

"They can have my server password when they pry it from my cold dead hands." Mother Teresa

From working with law enforcement, I can see where the idea comes from. Devising a CCTV retreival strategy is not easy when you have to rely on an officer walking around to find them in the first place. Secondly, if you do find a camera with potentially interesting footage and thier are download issues or format playing issues it can signifcantly delay an investigation/ charging decision. Taking all the information the bill is requesting and overlying it on a map would significantly help law enforcement efforts.