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Friday, August 13, 2021

Lake County commissioners call for removal of surveillance cameras they never approved

Posted By on Fri, Aug 13, 2021 at 11:48 AM

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The trend in recent years has been toward unending surveillance. Phones, smart microphones, cameras in doorbells and the ever-present traffic cams have brought just about every corner of modern life under the eye of someone, with any pushback on it seen as crank behavior. In such a grim landscape, even a minor bit of resistance to private companies putting up cameras can feel like a win.

That's what happened in Lake County this week when commissioners reacted with outrage to a series of traffic cameras put up without their permission. The county ordered Flock Safety to remove the cameras that recorded license plate and vehicle details. The cameras were installed as part of a pilot program with the county sheriff's office, but the commission was never consulted.

“It’s shocking they even put them in places where they never would’ve been approved in the first place had they gotten the appropriate approval,” said Commissioner Josh Blacke.
Flock called the episode a "miscommunication" and vowed to remove the cameras quickly.

"Flock Safety contracted directly with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and we worked with their team to select locations. Cameras were installed a few weeks ago. Not all locations require permits, and there was an honest miscommunication about the need for permits at some of these sites," they told WKMG.  "Since we learned of this mistake, we are starting to remove all the cameras immediately. We have installed 1000s of cameras around the country, including all over Florida, and our team moves very quickly."

LCSO terminated the program following the commission's decision.

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