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Privacy Alarms Sound As The Neighborhood Watch Goes Next Level

Flock Safety

Camera systems sold by the Atlanta-based company Flock Safety promise homeowners greater security. Flock cameras capture license plate numbers as vehicles come in and out of neighborhoods.

The idea is to deter property theft and help police identify suspects after a crime. But how does introducing 24/7 video surveillance affect the privacy and civil liberties of residents? And could these cameras be used to keep tabs on law-abiding neighbors?

Privacy advocates say it is a question worth debating as the technology becomes more mainstream. Similar artificial intelligence technology powers a facial recognition app that the Raleigh police department recently scuttled over privacy concerns. That technology came under scrutiny for using images from social media without consent. 

Host Frank Stasio speaks with WRAL Investigative Reporter Tyler Dukes about the emerging use of Flock cameras in North Carolina neighborhoods and the potential harm this kind of technology can do to a free and open society.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.