The Surveillance Camera Data Collection Act (House Bill 1948), which would require police agencies that own or have access to video surveillance cameras to disclose to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority the number of their cameras, and their privacy regulations, has passed the Illinois House in a 110-0 vote.
The bill would also require the Authority to post this information on its website. The regulations would extend to outdoor cameras (except for traffic cameras), and to mass transit cameras. The law does not seek information about the location of any cameras.
This bill would provide the public with critical information about video surveillance cameras in Illinois. Government transparency about the number of cameras would allow the public to make important town-to-town and year-to-year comparisons.
Dozens of government agencies across Illinois have installed thousands of video surveillance cameras in recent years, but very little information about these cameras has been released to the public. The ACLU of Illinois recently released the first independent, comprehensive report of Chicago's surveillance camera system, calling for the City to adopt significant new safeguards to protect privacy. The ACLU also called for a moratorium on the placement of new surveillance cameras in the City until a full review of the program and adoption of privacy protections has been completed.