Federal grants, such as the $7 million awarded to Oakland, California, have been allocated toward technology-based police initiatives. Rather than fund measures to prevent terrorist attacks as intended, the money has helped track citizens through methods such as license plate readers.
The police has used other forms of technology to monitor citizens as well:
“The police can monitor a fire hose of social media posts to look for evidence of criminal activities; transportation agencies can track commuters’ toll payments when drivers use an electronic pass; and the National Security Agency, as news reports this summer revealed, scooped up telephone records of millions of cellphone customers in the United States.”
While tech-enabled security measures can heighten safety and prevent crime, the loss of privacy may outweigh its benefits.