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Hyderabad police creates wing for drone maintenance: Some questions before the applause

Hyderabad police has set up a ‘Drones and Cameras Maintenance Organisation’ wing to keep track of functioning CCTVs, drones, and cameras set up across the city

Courtesy: DFI

What's the news: In light of Holi and other festivities, the Hyderabad police in Telangana set up a ‘D-CAMO (Drones and Cameras Maintenance Organisation)’ wing, as per a Times of India report. The wing will keep track of the functioning of CCTVs, drones, and cameras set up by Hyderabad police, the report said. On the one hand, this might come as welcome news for individuals who gain a sense of security from monitoring done by drones, especially during festivals. On the other hand, it is important to ask: what do the authorities do with the data collected by these after the festivals are over? Time and again we have heard of the city police deploying drones during religious events to ‘monitor the area’ and ‘maintain law and order in the region.’ Even during Holi or Shab-e-Barat, it won't be surprising to see the monitoring equipment zooming around in the sky. However, we are yet to come across any official report that assesses the use of these drones at such times. Why it matters: Law enforcement agencies introduce and get the required funding for such monitoring equipment by claiming that the technology helps protect citizens. Still, at the end of the day, drones may collect data on specific communities during these religious festivals. Activist S. Q. Masood in January 2023, spoke about how monitoring of this nature by the police infringes on people's privacy. Although in his case, Masood was worried about CCTV footage, such monitoring raises concerns about state surveillance.…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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