Update: Maryland Holding Off on Audio Surveillance on Trains And Buses For Near Future

finishedserviceMaryland’s acting transportation chief has chosen to scrap an internal proposal to use listening devices on its buses and trains for recording conversations of passengers and employees, citing concerns about privacy as the motivating factor in his decision. After inquiries from the Baltimore Sun Monday about reports of the Maryland Transportation Authority’s top official asking for the opinion of the state’s Attorney General’s office on the legality of this surveillance, acting Secretary Beverly Swaim-Staley ordered the request withdrawn and stated,

“It certainly should have been vetted at the department level and it was not.” “We have not weighed the issues we should weigh before making a decision like this.”

Staley said the question of surveillance was raised legally before it could be discussed thoroughly policy-wise and that she will now spend time deciding whether to move forward with the program. By backing off the proposal, Swaim-Staley may avert a confrontation with the General Assembly. Some legislators have already expressed the thought that the plan would have led to opposition legislation almost immediately. (Via the Baltimore Sun)


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