ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – With the growing number of security cameras, a St. Louis Alderman wants to make sure someone’s watching the watchers. Alderman Terry Kennedy says the potential for abuse is there.

“It’s not clear, for example, who will have access to the information, how long will the surveillance information be held, who will hold on to it and how will it be used,” he says.

The bill would require existing camera systems, such as the St. Louis Police Real Time Crime Center, to come under aldermanic review. Also, any agency in the city wanting to put up new cameras would have to get permission from the board.

John Chasnoff, with the group Privacy Watch, supports the bill.

“Historically people of color for instance have been targeted by surveillance systems, and that goes all the way back to the early days when slaves were required to carry a lantern at night so they’d be visible. And even today with the street cameras in other cities, we’ve seen studies that show African Americans are more likely to be zoomed in on,” he says.

Kennedy says the goal is to balance crime fighting with protecting privacy and civil liberties.

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