Letter: No real need for more surveillance

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Asheville Joins Buncombe County Surveillance System,” Feb. 1, Xpress:]

I agree with Grace Barron-Martinez. It would be an open invitation to violate people’s First, Fourth and 14th amendment rights.

Our police have not proved they are capable of handling this information responsibly. I see no real reason to do this program.

I understand people’s safety concerns. Most urgent situations can be handled by a call to 911.

— Carole Schaefer


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6 thoughts on “Letter: No real need for more surveillance

  1. SpareChange

    Courts have repeatedly and broadly ruled that there can be no “presumption of privacy” in public spaces. This general principle applies to both individuals’ rights to take photos and videos of others in public places, and, within slightly different parameters, also allows for public/governmental entities to do the same. Government does face heightened responsibilities and requirements when it comes to the means, method, and purpose in using such cameras, but in today’s world, where not only your image, but your location, movement, phone calls, purchases, internet searches, etc., are all monitored, recorded, stored and used by private entities, I don’t believe that the presence of some closed circuit cameras in high crime areas should be a major concern.

    • NFB


      I’d be much more concerned about Google knowing I was in downtown Asheville at a given time then I would the city of Asheville knowing.

    • Zodwa

      You are absolutely correct. If you have ever received the ‘where did you go this week’ report on your phone, detailing every stop of your week, and exactly what time and where you were, this whole subject is dead.

      • sinkhole

        No, you can turn your phone off and you don’t have to carry it with you everywhere. You don’t get to handwave away other peoples’ privacy simply because YOU are irresponsible.

        • indy499

          Frequently what one wishes were true and the actually law is in conflict.

          • sinkhole

            I do not understand your response; I am not sure what the law has to do with your ability to turn off your cell phone. I am acutely aware of the tracking companies perform on cell phones and, because of that, I avoid keeping a cell phone on my person. When I feel the need to have one, I will leave it turned off or in airplane mode to mitigate this abuse.

            Just because one is careless and/or lazy and does not mind private companies and the government agencies tracking them, does not justify public funds being spent on an surveillance network. Just because there is no presumption of privacy in public, it does not mean we should enable the government to proactively record all public space and have footage stored in the database of a private company that will likely be shared with other private companies as well as other policing agencies.

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