NJ Transit audio-video recordings spark privacy concerns

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- Passengers who ride New Jersey Transit are raising concerns about their privacy, as more video and audio surveillance systems are being installed on light rail trains.

The technology is just being installed now at locations in North Jersey, but it's been in use for a while now on the River Line, which runs through Camden County.

Signs in English and Spanish are posted on River Line trains alerting passengers that video and audio equipment is in use.

Several passengers at Pennsauken Transit Center told Action News they take little notice.

"That really doesn't worry me because I don't do anything wrong," said Jonathan Binque of Camden.

NJ Transit did not comment on the specifics of this technology or its cost.

Supporters say the video and audio surveillance is an important tool for law enforcement, and a deterrent to criminal activity.

Others say while they're not opposed to it, the issue is not so clear-cut.

"It is kind of a pro and con thing," said Alexi Krul of Merchantville. "Invasion of privacy... yet it could mean some safety for some people."

"I think it depends on how it's going to be used," said Lisa McCoy of Pennsauken. "That's the most important part of it."

The audio surveillance is now being installed on light rails in North Jersey.

Critics worry about who is listening and what will happen to the recorded conversations.

Some riders question how useful they really are.

"It won't prevent anything from happening in the moment," said Krul.

Others believe that if it indeed cuts down on crime, the technology is worth it.

"I think it's a good thing," said Gabe Santiago of Camden. "Protects the city more."

"If it's for our safety, I think it's a great idea," said Lisa Chirre of Mount Holly.

Action News asked SEPTA about surveillance technology on its vehicles over in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
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