San Francisco police can now watch private surveillance cameras in real time

Photo by Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

San Francisco police increased their surveillance powers this week after the city’s board of supervisors voted on Tuesday to grant the police department access to private real-time surveillance cameras.

The vote, which passed 7-4, approved a year-long pilot program that will allow police to monitor private camera footage across the city with the consent of camera owners. The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) will not have continuous access to the cameras but may access the network under certain conditions, such as when investigating crimes, including misdemeanors and property crimes. The SFPD will also be able to access footage from private cameras during large-scale public events such as protests, even…

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