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1leggeddog t1_jddrpoa wrote

Just as the public doesn't want the government to do surveillance on them, the same mentality must be put on private entities.


et711 t1_jddvxsk wrote

I think this is too invasive. I think that technology has advanced to a point where tracking people and making use of that data is far too easy and inexpensive.

I don't care if it's the government or private organizations, people should expect a higher level of privacy than this.


Hrmbee OP t1_jddmyn2 wrote

>Lakeway is just one example of a community that has faced Flock’s surveillance without many homeowners’ knowledge or approval. Neighbors in Atlanta, Georgia, remained in the dark for a year after cameras were put up. In Lake County, Florida, nearly 100 cameras went up “overnight like mushrooms,” according to one county commissioner — without a single permit. > >In a statement, Flock Safety brushed off the Lake County incident as an “an honest misunderstanding,” but the increasing surveillance of community members’ movements across the country is no accident. It’s a deliberate marketing strategy. > >Flock Safety, which began as a startup in 2017 in Atlanta and is now valued at approximately $3.5 billion, has targeted homeowners associations, or HOAs, in partnership with police departments, to become one of the largest surveillance vendors in the nation. There are key strategic reasons that make homeowners associations the ideal customer. HOAs have large budgets — they collect over $100 billion a year from homeowners — and it’s an opportunity for law enforcement to gain access into gated, private areas, normally out of their reach. > >Over 200 HOAs nationwide have bought and installed Flock’s license plate readers, according to an Intercept investigation, the most comprehensive count to date. HOAs are private entities and therefore are not subject to public records requests or regulation. > >“What are the consequences if somebody abuses the system?” said Dave Maass, director of investigations at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “There are repercussions of having this data, and you don’t have that kind of accountability when it comes to a homeowners association.” > >The majority of the readers are hooked up to Flock’s TALON network, which allows police to track cars within their own neighborhoods, as well as access a nationwide system of license plate readers that scan approximately a billion images of vehicles a month. Camera owners can also create their own “hot lists” of plate numbers that generate alarms when scanned and will run them in state police watchlists and the FBI’s primary criminal database, the National Crime Information Center. > >“Flock Safety installs cameras with permission from our customers, at the locations they require,” said Holly Beilin, a Flock representative. “Our team has stood in front of hundreds of city council meetings, and we have always supported the democratic process.” > >After facing public outrage, the cameras were removed from communities in Texas and Florida, but Flock’s license plate readers continue to rapidly proliferate daily — from cities in Missouri to Kentucky. > >“It’s a near constant drumbeat,” said Edwin Yohnka, the director of public policy at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. > >With over half of all Americans living in HOAs, experts believe the surveillance technology is far more ubiquitous than we know.

It looks like this company is following the playbook of other companies that have been looking to make inroads in communities through disruption, such as Uber and Airbnb. There also seem to be parallels between what they're doing here and what Ring has been doing with individual property owners. If we are to care about privacy in the slightest, regulations around these kinds of activities are sorely needed but also seemingly lacking in most jurisdictions.


Dumcommintz t1_jdgs2rp wrote


It absolutely can be for some people in the very common scenario of being on probation. Typically, probation orders forbid people from being around illegal activities and criminals. The scenario above could be used directly or as an aggravator to revoke probation and bring charges.

Sure, they could likely try to appeal or plead their case that they were visiting their family a few doors down and unrelated to the drug bust, but that’s going to take time before you get in front of a judge. In the meantime, the probation officer already revoked the probation and the person is in jail.


cartsucks t1_jdf18se wrote

“Over 200 HOAs nationwide have bought and installed….”

Absolute bullocks right there. Add a few zeros. I’ve seen probably more than 200 HOAs/neighborhoods with this abomination of a company all over neighborhoods in the metro area I live in. Intercept might want to “investigate” again.

I’ve been complaining about this shit company for years and 99 out of 100 people I talk to “don’t care because they have nothing to hide”

It should 100% be illegal for anyone except governments to have access to this. I dislike governments having access but I know that is just a given at this point they would have it.

HOAs (and funny any individual can buy Flock) should not have the ability to track people, setup tracking of certain plates, etc.

I so hope this company eventually goes bankrupt (but sadly I know they won’t)


HebrewHammer0033 t1_jdfeo6c wrote

ONLY the police can create hotlists for vehicles involved in crimes and they are can be alerted that the car was in one place at a specific time but usually the target is moving


cartsucks t1_jdfgiet wrote

I never said hotlists.

HOAs have access to all the license plates for their system and can search for a specific plate in the system. They can absolutely track any license plate (while not automatically) at any time

This is direct form their neighborhood/HOA portion of their site.

“Easy Search When you’re faced with package theft, illegal dumping, or property damage, you don’t have time to sift through hours of camera footage for evidence. Minimize time spent manually sifting through footage for niche vehicle features. Flock Safety’s search is as easy to use as your favorite online retailer with dynamic filters that optimizes ease-of-use and produces faster results.”


HebrewHammer0033 t1_jdfi5v4 wrote

You did say set up tracking of certain plates. They cant do that. . When there is a crime. They only give access to an admin. So you live in a neighborhood and the system records your car driving in your neighborhood. There is no explaining or justifying to those that are just anti surveillance. Keep in mind that almost every home has cameras monitoring the public ROW as well as every commercial property. These have been around for well over 20 years.


HebrewHammer0033 t1_jdfe62y wrote

Seeing as almost all crimes involve the use of a vehicle, this is fantastic technology tool for real time and criminal investigations. While I understand the privacy concern I am unaware of any incidents where this became an issue. It also has been instrumental in numerous missing person cases and recovered 10s of thousand of stolen cars throughout the US.


moses420bush t1_jdh1cvk wrote

Hello man from the 80s are you aware of the Internet and online crimes


Tedstor t1_jdek0f9 wrote

I’d be more than OK if my HOA did this.

If a stolen car or a car attached to a felony warrant enters my neighborhood…..I’d love for the police to be notified.


Throwaway08080909070 t1_jddutlz wrote

Why would you have an expectation of your license plate being private? Its whole purpose is public display!


SidewaysFancyPrance t1_jddxd0n wrote

It's the tracking. I don't think my HOA should be able to share my car's location in my private community with the police. If you live near one of these HOAs, the police could know every time you drive to or from your home. You're OK with that? Personal tracking that will never be used to help you, but only harm you?

Imagine if a group of thieves managed to gain access to this data. They'd know exactly when to rob people.

Now I'll wait for someone to inform me that a random person's right to monitor and track all of my movements is "freedom" but my desire to keep my location private is "communism" or something.


phenolic72 t1_jdeud41 wrote

The security is what bothers me. No system is secure. Corporations that focus massive budgets on the security of their data still manage to be breeched on a daily basis.


GhostofDownvotes t1_jdgcz1f wrote

> the police could know every time you drive to or from your home. You’re OK with that?

You mean it’s like having private security for “free”? Yeah, I’m very much okay with that.

> Personal tracking that will never be used to help you, but only harm you?

Lmfao. Yes, this will never be used to help you, but only to harm you. Like when a pedo pulls your son into a van, the camera capturing that? Harmful to you.

This oh-noes-surveillance bitching is really quite pathetic. We used to have serial killers who were stacking teenage boys’ bodies in their basements for decades before they got caught by some sheer accident. Lots of them too. Last year, some asshole started shooting homeless people in New York and the police took his ass off the streets in a day. But think of the privacy of all those homeless people he would have shot!

Instead of seeing the merit these systems have for regular, good, hardworking people, the upvoted dummy is of course some alarmist loser who is very worried about someone misusing access to his car location info from a database of 300-something million people. 🤦‍♀️


Denslayer t1_jddsz9y wrote

Downvote all you want but l the US is a violent society and this is needed. Cars and roads connect everything and most crime involves vehicles


4077 t1_jddxcuz wrote

Well we should probably make roads illegal. Crime won't have anywhere to go!


GhostofDownvotes t1_jdgd6r1 wrote

The most reasonable Redditor: tracking cars by LE == remove roads.


BecomeABenefit t1_jddnat3 wrote

I don't really have a problem with this. I'm a libertarian, but license plates are public information. HOA's, while annoying, are voluntary organizations. Privacy laws vary in many states, but even the most stringent allow storing license plates with consent. You can even store license plates without consent as long as you're not linking them with personal information.

I imagine HOA's want to catalog all the authorized vehicles and who owns them so they can identify who owns a car that's violating the rules.

Source: My company started to implement a system for businesses that used license plates to help identify customers and we had to nix the project. HOA members who specifically opt-in as part of their HOA contract wouldn't have the same concern.


1leggeddog t1_jdds011 wrote

You dont have a problem with this until it becomes a problem that affects you.

With privacy matters, you need to look outside your own boundaries to how this information can be misused


GhostofDownvotes t1_jdgdbs8 wrote

> You dont have a problem with this until it becomes a problem that affects you.

You do have a problem with it until there is a problem and the system is not there to solve it. Your son gets kidnapped? Awww, too bad, we prioritized not knowing when you went to Wendy’s. Ta-ta!


BecomeABenefit t1_jddy7yx wrote

That genie can't go back into the bottle. License plates are public information. You're required by law to display one and people have the freedom to record license plate numbers.


1leggeddog t1_jddywhd wrote

You can totall cork that Genie back in.

We do this kind of stuff all the time in IT with personal information to prevent linking people to specific IDs (in this case, license plates).

It's one thing to look up a plate, it's another make that process easy to the point that you have your own personal database at your fingertips at all times.

This leads to abuse.


BecomeABenefit t1_jdec0wp wrote

You can for an app or a single system, but you're not going to change the entire world which already tracks literally everything you do.


JadeitePenguin1 t1_jde3ca7 wrote

And how can it be misused?


JadeitePenguin1 t1_jdfj2at wrote

Why do people think a link proof? Like of you're citing something sure but you're not...

If you can't give your own arguments you're not informed enough to say why.


1leggeddog t1_jde67jd wrote

Like the article suggests, it could be used to track people to locations they don't to be known, such as abortion clinics, especially in the wake of the incredibly moronic and repressive laws recently enacted in some states.

It could also be misused in the same way by falsefying records to make people appear where they were not or being purely convicted by association.

Say there was a drug bust in a neigborhood and someone that had a criminal record was keeping clean, ends up being recorded his car just passing through. People have gone to jail for less.


GhostofDownvotes t1_jdgdmfr wrote

> Say there was a drug bust in a neigborhood and someone that had a criminal record was keeping clean, ends up being recorded his car just passing through. People have gone to jail for less.

Rofl, good luck prosecutor-chan!


JadeitePenguin1 t1_jdfis1x wrote

"such as abortion clinics, especially in the wake of the incredibly moronic and repressive laws recently enacted in some states." you not understand what misuse would mean? Tracking people who break the law isn't fucking misusing it...god you people really think one way, using the same logic cars should be banned from law enforcement...

"It could also be misused in the same way by falsefying records to make people appear where they were not or being purely convicted by association."

Fucking how??? Like wtf? That doesn't even make any sense!

"Say there was a drug bust in a neigborhood and someone that had a criminal record was keeping clean, ends up being recorded his car just passing through. People have gone to jail for less."

Like no that's not a realistic scenario! Being near a crime ISN'T ENOUGH TO GET SOMEONE ARRESTED!


Hrmbee OP t1_jddu43j wrote

This isn't just about HOA residents, but also visitors to the HOA, contractors, and the like. Also, if a HOA is in a city, then likely all vehicles passing by the community will be captured as well.

Also, given the ubiquity of the collection and analysis of personal data by data brokers, companies, and other organizations, it's highly unlikely that this data will remain unlinked with other personal information. Much of the information captured will likely be of people who are not parties to that HOA contract and essentially have no say in the matter.


LiehTzu t1_jddw3wn wrote

>HOA's, while annoying, are voluntary organizations

Voluntary? I wish.


BecomeABenefit t1_jddxz3j wrote

You weren't forced to sign the contract. You could have moved somewhere without an HOA. You also have voting rights in the HOA you voluntarily joined.


LiehTzu t1_jde1sns wrote

>You could have moved somewhere without an HOA

Yep, it's totally that easy, lol


BecomeABenefit t1_jdebqe9 wrote

Yes, you see, when the real-estate agent tries to show you a house with an HOA contract, you say "no thanks". If you're renting, you just don't consider houses in an HOA. HOA's are less than 27% of houses.

If you're living with your parents, move out.


LiehTzu t1_jdef1pt wrote

Man, you're so smart! Why didn't all those folks in HOAs simply not be in one!? If only geniuses like you ran the world, we'd all be so much better off. Thank you for your service!


BecomeABenefit t1_jdeqts1 wrote

Don't take this personally, but have you ever actually shopped for a house? I've done it 10+ times now and I've always had options that weren't HOA's. Some people actually prefer to be in one. I've had both good and bad experiences with them. Of the three houses I've actually purchased, only two were in HOA's. In my current one, nobody every really shows up for the HOA meetings and pretty much anybody who wants to be president or on the board can do so with almost no opposition.


Skywalker601 t1_jdevmdi wrote

I'd just like to point out that "pretty much anybody who wants to be president or on the board can do so with almost no opposition." is the unspoken preamble to every HOA horror story I've ever heard, and seems like a monkey's paw positive at best to me.


BecomeABenefit t1_jdex5nm wrote

Sure, it can be abused, but it's also easy to overturn someone that's doing something that people don't like. My HOA just swapped out the entire board and president because the residents didn't like the management company we hired because they were too stringent about writing infractions. Took a whole 20 people out of over 800 to vote the new board in.

In my experience, anybody who complains about their HOA is either too lazy to get involved and spend an hour a month to go to the meetings, or they're the kind of neighbor that nobody wants.