Along with video cameras, Maryland’s Transit Authority has begun adding microphones that record passengers’ conversations with bus drivers.
Naturally, some people are not happy about this.
The audio recording began on 10 buses in Baltimore this week, and by next summer, they intend to have about 340 buses set up, about half of Maryland’s transportation fleet.
Signs tell riders that they are being recorded.
The action was approved by the state attorney general’s office. State wiretapping laws, transit officials were told, don’t contradict the new policy.
A staff attorney with the ACLU’s Maryland chapter said he was “flabbergasted” at the move, saying “A significant number of people have no viable alternative to riding a bus, and they should not be forced to give up their privacy rights.”
No attempts to litigate against the action have been filed, but it should be noted that the Maryland General Assembly has rejected the inclusion of audio recording devices in buses in each of their last three legislative sessions.
Question: Is this a reasonable security addition or a privacy violation?