SF supervisors creates plan to grant police more access to surveillance camera

A committee of San Francisco supervisors is set to discuss giving police more access to private surveillance cameras Monday.

If approved, the new policy would allow police to view feeds from private cameras as the events are occurring. 

Police currently do not have access without permission from the Board of Supervisors. 

Discussion to grant police more access to private cameras came up during the smash-and-grab robberies at Union Square last November. 

Police said there were warnings of possible violence in the shopping area, but police could not watch live feeds to see where people were meeting up or where getaway cars were waiting. 

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Mayor London Breed supports the plan, saying the technology is there to help police prevent or solve crimes and increase safety around the city. 

"The goal is to look into what could potentially happen, based on information, that the department receives, and make a decision as to whether they should be monitoring a particular situation," Mayor Breed said. 

People would have to either offer up their surveillance cameras for police to monitor or police could ask to see them, Breed said. 

Civil Liberties groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU said access would be unlikely to help police much. Instead, it would interfere with the privacy rights of people. 

They also said it may pose threat to demonstrators as the police could use the live feeds to identify those who were carrying out their right to free speech. 

The meeting is set Monday at 10:00 a.m. People can watch the meeting live stream here