“We went down to Springfield [the state’s capitol] and testified against that bill because essentially we said we’ve built a system now, a huge public safety video system, which is predicated on 30-day retention. If you required to keep the data for 24 months, rather than the one month I plan to keep it for, the costs would have been about $20 million higher,” Zoufal said.
Another big concern for municipal surveillance deployments is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and who can access video footage. Though many FOIA requests are denied due to the fact that they’re part of ongoing investigations, Zoufal said that reasoning cannot be applied to all situations and that cities have to figure out how they’re going to deal with people that want access to video for frivolous endeavors.
“There are true legal concerns that you have to have in addressing these systems that relate to larger public policy issues,” he said. “The rules that you predicate a system on can change over time and you have to be able to adapt your system to those changes.”