As police weigh surveillance program, private company at helm looks to court private clients

Critics say McNutt's plan to pitch his technology to commercial clients raises red flags.

McKenna said she would be concerned about a private company selling surveillance footage to another private company. She said McNutt would have a financial incentive to relax his privacy policy, because less-restricted access to the footage and higher-resolution images would likely fetch higher bids.

Even if McNutt sticks to his policy, she said, others could come along using his business model and offer footage with no such privacy protections in place.

"If this guy gets to do it, why can't everybody just get a plane and fly over top and sell the data?" she said.

David Rocah, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, said private use of mass surveillance footage would be "a manifestation of a much larger problem, of private actors, typically corporate actors, accumulating vast amounts of data about us and then monetizing that data."

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