Surveillance Startup Brings Police Tech to Neighborhoods
Law enforcement agencies have long used license plate readers to track traffic patterns, aid in investigations and check vehicle registrations. Now that technology is in the hands of individuals.
It’s gotten an upgrade in recent years by Flock Safety, a startup that has developed a cheaper, artificial intelligence-powered version of the machines that gives neighbors a searchable, 24/7 view of vehicles that drive their streets.
But placing the ability to watch a whole neighborhood in the hands of private citizens presents clear opportunities for abuse: nosy residents checking neighbors’ comings and goings, or a spurned lover keeping watch. Flock insists that every search query needs a valid justification, but relies on the honor system to enforce the rule.