Photo of security camera in subway station

The New York City subways are being upgraded. Not more trains, more stops, fewer delays, or updated stations, but a lot more cameras. Governor Kathy Hochul said on Tuesday that every subway car would have two cameras.

Are you sure Big Brother is watching you on the subways? You're correct. The Governor spoke during a news conference in a subway yard. We are going to be keeping a close eye on the subway trains and that will give people peace of mind.

The pilot program, which began in June, has been expanded to include cameras on train cars. About 100 cars were used in the test phase. There have been a number of highly publicized subway attacks, including an April mass shooting on a Manhattan-bound N train. A man shot 10 people. Multiple people were injured but no one was killed.

The NYPD increased the number of officers in subway stations. The mayor said he was considering adding gun detection technology to the stations.

The Sunset Park subway station was the location of the April shooting. The cameras weren't working at the time of the incident. The suspect was taken into custody after turning himself in.

Hochul implied in her announcement that the cameras were intended to increase security. In the wake of the Pandemic, the number of people returning to the subway was low. It was the first time since March 2020 that daily Ridership exceeded 3.8 million. It's still less than what it was before Covid.

Hochul said a part of the flatlining return is likely due to the staying power of work-from- home or hybrid office arrangements.

She described a decrease in crime from June to September of 2022.

Hochul believed these would be a deterrent to people. The Governor claimed that the cameras would make it easier to solve crimes that occur.

It will cost an estimated $5.5 million to add cameras to cars. Part of the funding comes from the Department of Homeland Security. According to a press release from the Governor's office, another $3.5 million is coming from the MTA's own action plan.

Hochul said, "If you're concerned about this, the best answer is don't commit any crimes on the subways, then you won't have any issues." The pro-surveillance argument is so classic and critiqued that it has its own page on Wikimedia.

The cameras don't bring people more peace of mind. Albert Fox Cahn, director of theSTOP, a non-profit advocacy organization, said that New Yorkers want safety. Cahn referred to the cameras as "surveillance theater" and said they're "ripe for abuse by the NYPD."

The New York Civil Liberties Union has a technology strategist named Daniel Schwarz. There is no proof that the expansion of subway cameras will improve safety.

Hochul and the city haven't shared any information about the cameras and software system, who will have access to the footage, how long and how it will be stored, and other issues related to privacy. It shouldn't be the price we pay to be safe. The real public safety comes from investing in our communities.

The effects of security cameras on crime rates have been assessed in the past. According to a 2020 report by the Urban Institute, security cameras seem to deter certain types of crime. In Milwaukee, the Urban Institute found that there was more crime at intersection with cameras. The cameras helped with the clearance of violent crimes.

There are implications for people's rights to protest, student civil liberties, and data privacy as a result of the expansion of surveille technology.