Aside from the privacy concerns associated with persistent aerial surveillance, there are also worries related to transparency: In Baltimore, Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS) technology was flown over the city without elected officials (including the mayor), the state’s attorney, or members of the public being informed first. And in Miami-Dade county, the mayor wasn’t aware of Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) persistent aerial surveillance plans.
Military equipment has a tendency to make its way from foreign battlefields into the hands of domestic law enforcement. This is a trend that can be useful in investigating crimes, but policies that protect privacy should be in place before snooping airplanes take to the sky, and the public as well as local officials should be informed about the surveillance tools police are using. Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS), the Ohio-based company that made the sensor system deployed in Baltimore, uses technology originally designed for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This kind of technology has prompted privacy concerns in others cities, with Baltimore being perhaps the most notable.