Passengers, ACLU concerned about new NJ Transit cameras

Passengers who ride the New Jersey Transit Lightrail say that they are not happy to learn that new security measures could potentially record their conversations.

Passengers and the NJ ACLU say that they are concerned about the new NJ Transit cameras on the Lightrail trains.

Passengers and the NJ ACLU say that they are concerned about the new NJ Transit cameras on the Lightrail trains. (4/12/16)

JERSEY CITY - Passengers who ride the New Jersey Transit Lightrail say that they are not happy to learn that new security measures could potentially record their conversations.

NJ Transit recently announced that the new surveillance system on the Lightrail trains will have cameras that record not only video, but audio as well.

Many riders say that they are concerned that their private conversations will be recorded, but the transit company stands by its decision.

“We have seen too many instances of terrorism at mass transit facilities around the world,” NJ Transit Interim Executive Director Dennis Martin said in a statement. “It is our responsibility and our duty to utilize today's current technology to deter the criminal activity.”

Martin also said that NJ Transit will respect passengers’ right to privacy. But Ed Barocas of the New Jersey ACLU tells News 12 New Jersey that he is skeptical.

“Who gets to view this? Who gets to listen in on these conversations? How long do they keep those records? Do they ever destroy them? Do they create a large database? Answers we don't know, because they have done this in secret,” Barocas says.

The cameras were approved to be installed about five years ago. The Lightrail trains in South Jersey have had similar cameras for two years already.

NJ Transit says that there will be signs on the trains informing riders that cameras record video and audio.

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