(KMOV.com) – Privacy concerns have been raised after a report revealed around 50 police agencies in the United States have technology that can essentially see through walls.
According to the report, the agencies have the capability to hold up a device to the wall of a building and can determine if people are inside, if those people are moving, and how far away they are. The device used is known as Range-R.
“It’s great for officer safety. That’s what it’s designed for,” said John McCarthy a certified protection professional at Special Services, a security company.
McCarthy worked on a tactical unit for six years and helped with security at two Olympic Games. McCarty said the see through technology could be a life saver in a hostage situation. McCarthy also said Range-R is similar to what police use to catch speeders.
“If the officers knew where the bad guys or perpetrators were, it would allow them to make the entry safer for them,” McCarthy said. “This is the same technology. If it sees movement inside, it will register that. It’s not going to show a picture of anyone.”
A local law professor who specializes in police procedures said he is concerned the use of such technology will not be limited to tactical and hostage situations or when police already have warrants.
“The Supreme Court is going to have problems in these cases where it is used in general,” said Saint Louis University law professor Roger Goldman. “Because it’s a house, looking into somebody’s home, that’s the highest level of expectation of privacy the Supreme Court has held for years and years.”
Goldman said the Supreme Court used to rule in favor of police using new technology until recently. No St. Louis area police departments use the Range-R.