Lexington to move forward with Flock contract

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The City of Lexington voted to move forward with a five-year contract for service with Flock cameras, some Lexingtonians still have concerns about the technology. They want to be sure information from the cameras isn’t used by outside agencies.

The city has been using Flock license plate reading cameras for two years. Mayor Linda Gorton said they’ve helped police find 269 stolen vehicles, 22 missing people, and led to criminal charges for 451 people. She’s called for 25 more in her new budget. Still, though, a lot of people have concerns.

“This is a private company that can change their privacy policies and we need to make sure that they are accountable to the privacy rights of our local citizens,” one citizen said during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Several people talked about their worry that information from the cameras here in Lexington could be available through the Flock system to outside agencies.

“As laws in nearby states become more draconian, and here, it’s important that we make sure that the tools at our disposal are not being used in ways that are inconsistent with our stated values,” another person said to the councilmembers.

They were also concerned about the unforeseen developments that could happen over the course of a five-year contract.

“That is a very long time as we are in rapid technological advances, as well as an uncertain political future,” another citizen said.

Several people asked for an external audit of the way the data is managed. Councilmembers voted 14 to 1 to approve the contract, although they said they’re keeping an eye on how it’s used.

“Many of us are continuing to look at this technology as it’s used as more sort of videos and things like that are being used. We are not just accepting things without investigating,” said Councilmember Jennifer Reynolds.

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