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RTI: Chennai police confirms 9 drones as part of a Drone Police Unit and here’s why it’s important

Funds worth Rs. 3.58 lakh have been spent so far for the creation of this unit that monitors the police jurisdiction and collects video data

drone

Imagine Section 144 has been imposed in your area and you have to step out to the market to collect some essentials. You’re alone and are doing nothing wrong but then you hear a police drone in the air. Would the possibility of meeting a familiar face on the road now put you on edge? Is it because of the curfew or because the police have their eyes on you as you walk to the market? If your answer is the latter, it is time to take a closer look at Indian law enforcement agencies’ interest in surveillance technologies. While CCTV surveillance seems to be fast becoming the norm, the use of drones seemed like a thing of the future. However, as an RTI reply from the Greater Chennai Police has confirmed, the city is already being monitored by a Drone Police Unit containing nine drones. Funds worth Rs. 3.58 lakh have been spent so far for the creation of this unit that monitors the police jurisdiction and collects video data. When asked for how long this data is collected and retained by the drones, the police said, “Now training is under going.” Stranger still was that it refused to confirm whether the private companies involved in the creation of the unit have access to the collected data. “It is secured data and hence, it cannot be disclosed,” said the Greater Chennai police. Why it matters: As per a corresponding tender issued by the Chennai police, these drones have video…

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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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