As Crosscut reporter Brandon Block discovered, the laws that govern this kind of technology are limited, and vary from city to city.
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Police and other city departments say these new devices and software will help them do their jobs far more effectively. But privacy advocates say they allow government agencies to track innocent people, with little regulation or transparency around how sensitive data is being used or shared.
For this episode of Crosscut Reports, host Sara Bernard talks with Block about his tour of existing surveillance technology in downtown Seattle; what kinds of surveillance federal funds are now making possible in police departments around the state; and the potential ramifications of all of this.