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WHAT PRIVACY? FOR THE MOST PART, WE DON’T HAVE A RIGHT TO PRIVACY WHILE IN PUBLIC PLACES
By a 4 to 1 vote, the Hattiesburg City Council has approved the implementation of the so-called “Project NOLA,” an initiative to place cameras at strategic locations throughout the city to monitor and prevent crime.
Credited with greatly reducing crime in its namesake city of New Orleans, as well as in other participating towns such as Natchez and Fairfield, Alabama, the system also records automobile license plate numbers and the sound of gun shots.
First reported by this newspaper in November of last year, some council members are hanging fire over issues of consent and confidentiality, but as someone who has lived, worked, and gone to school in New Orleans, I say, “Do it!” In fact, not only would I put such cameras all over Hattiesburg, I would also put them in our capitol city, starting at about Mendenhall.
The concern, of course, is one of privacy. To this I would respond, what privacy? I always just assume that I am under surveillance and act accordingly.
Don’t kid yourself. The most obscure company making solar-powered hula dancers in Unpronounceable, China, already has a database on most of us, and they know our shoe sizes, our kid’s names, what prescriptions we take, and probably what we had for supper last night.
I have an app on my phone that tells me how far away lightning strikes. I don’t doubt for one minute that it’s not ultimately hardwired into Langley, and if I said the wrong thing to the wrong person the black helicopters would be lit off and beating their way to my home in Oak Grove.
While I’m certainly not a lawyer, I believe that, generally, outside cameras are almost always fair game.