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Menlo Park weighs privacy versus surveillance

Original post made on Jun 13, 2013

On the heels of an announcement of the long-awaited Belle Haven police substation, the Menlo Park council found itself mulling over privacy rights versus surveillance.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 13, 2013, 8:52 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

Well, gosh, when are the other 'hoods in MP going to get these "technological advances"? After all, the wealthier are always leaving their windows open for their 5k$ handbags & expensive jewelry to be stolen. Aren't they *entitled* to some surveillance? Since people like to complain about property crimes on a par with crimes against persons, don't they "warrant" equal assistance in fighting crime?

Posted by woodrae, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Rights to privacy has to do within ones home. When in public, driving on public roads, with vehicles that are registered to the state, I would like to know which license plate was fleeing a crime scene, a hit and run, or doing their side shows. If there is no statute of limitations on murder...keep it for as long as possible. Most law abiding citizens have not much to hide.

Posted by WWDD - what would a dictator do?, a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jun 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Any questions?

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm


the Supreme court has repeatedly ruled that no one has any expectation of privacy when in public.

Any questions?

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Good point, MV, so let's see the wealthier neighborhoods get their privacy violated as much as Belle Haven!

Posted by It's Time, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Reality is: The most serious crimes in Menlo Park occur East of Middlefield Road at off-peak times. Freeway proximity and higher density are major factors.

The majority of criminals enter and flee the area using any of just 8 intersections. Just 4 to 10 properly aimed, inconspicuous, high definition cameras could capture images of the majority of suspects. Plate readers enhance that.

The cost savings of a single major case prosecution pays for it all. Start East, then add cameras West. Easy to imagine many crooks will avoid Menlo Park.

Huge benefit. Huge deterrent. Best money the City could ever spend. Why is innovating technology-leading Menlo Park willfully choosing to lag behind every urban area in the World?

Posted by Almmy Al, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Do the whole city, east and west. And fly drones overhead, constantly, never know when it will be needed. Maybe three, just to have a back up. Get that new (not infrared) see thru wall and roof technology too. Probably should fingerprint and dna swab every resident just to be sure.

Most of all, keep the 'rules' on all of it very vague and hidden.

Man, I have some suspicious neighbors over here. They do the weirdest stuff. They need to be watched constantly!

Posted by Long Time Menlo Man, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 14, 2013 at 7:46 am

Come on Councilwoman Kirsten Keith, privacy with license plate information? Are you kidding? Help the cops catch the bad guys. Don't up throw roadblocks.

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:20 am

Almmy Al - I think you're on to something.

The drones can be used not only for monitoring, but for enforcement and punishment as well. Sure, it will be a minor nuisance when a heat-seeking missile "lays down the law" - a bit of noise - but that's the cost of security.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm

[Post removed; unoriginal material from another website]

Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

What privacy rights do you have on a public street????? NONE. The police can run a license plate at any time just because.......

Posted by Privacy Advocate, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm

While police officers can run your license plates anytime on a public street, storing the information indicating where the plate was run, and at what time, creates a information database monitoring where you are during the day. Because the information is collected on a public database, if the City proceeded without a privacy policy, individuals and corporations could attempt to gain access to information specific to individuals in our community with a public records act request. My understanding is that the City Council isn't attempting to stop the police from running license plates, or using license plate readers, it is just trying to make certain the information is only used that for legitimate public safety purposes.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Do the coppers need a reason to run a plate? In Menlo, of course, & Palo Alto, they're famous for pulling someone over for driving while brown/black.

And sheesh, really, deleting my totally relevant post about Domino's testing to deliver pizzas via drones? Ridiculous - almost as ridiculous as the idea itself!

Posted by agreed, a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Who cares what the sheriff or police chief think about best practices, I'm with Long Time Menlo Man. Council members need to stop echoing the advice of professionals, and simply follow the advice posted on town square, without question. Hell, who cares if the advice is even legal.

Posted by What, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Plate safe not subject to a records request.

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