Drones are coming to New York, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
Mayor Bloomberg said in his weekly radio show on Friday that we should all get used to the idea of NYPD drones patrolling the city .
The mayor made sure to frame the introduction of drones as merely the next step in increasing security in the city, and assured New Yorkers that this was hardly an escalation from many cameras already watching citizens.
“What’s the difference if a drone is up in the air or on a building?” he said, reported the New York Post. He also mentioned that the change was not going to be stopped. “You can’t keep the tide from coming in ... We’re going to have more visibility and less privacy. I just don’t see how you could stop that.”
Unmanned aerial vehicles used by local police department are becoming a contentious issue, as departments are looking into using the robots. Chances are, these departments will opt for small, unarmed helicopter drones that will be used for surveillance.
Again, Bloomberg didn’t see a difference between adding drones to the NYPD and increasing patrols and adding more cameras. Of course, cops can’t fly and surveillance cameras don’t really move at all. But to the mayor, this is just going to make the city safer. And then he brought up face recognition, as if that isn’t the scariest Skynet disaster waiting to happen:
“And you know you’re going to have face recognition software,” he said. “People are working on that.”
We should all calm down, the mayor said. This is only going to make us safer, and c’mon, flying surveillance robots? It’s the same thing as that $20 CCTV nailed to the wall of your neighborhood bodega.
“The argument against using automation, it’s this craziness — oh, it’s Big Brother. Get used to it. When there’s a murder, a shooting, a robbery or something the first thing the police do is go to every single building in the neighborhood and say let’s see your security camera.”