Camera Network Plan Sparks Privacy Debate in Connecticut City

New cameras and equipment will be coming to the city’s downtown, after the City Council agreed to accept a $100,000 donation from CityCenter Danbury to upgrade its existing and aging network of cameras.

The council voted 16-to-3 to accept the funds during its Oct. 3 meeting. Before the vote, some skeptical Democratic City Council members said they were seriously concerned about the implications of accepting monies to support city infrastructure and questioned whether the proposal itself could threaten the privacy of downtown residents. The new equipment will replace inoperable traffic cameras, but locations of new cameras haven’t been decided, officials said.

Council members who opposed accepting the funds also posed concerns about whether CityCenter would be able to access the city’s secure fiber optic network and the closed circuit surveillance footage — the organization wouldn’t, officials said. One council member portrayed the proposal as a “precursor” to widespread surveillance.

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