By on November 25, 2009

Crime-ridden Tiburon (

There are only two roads going in and out of Tiburon, California, a feature the Tiburon city council wants to exploit to give citizens a sense of total security. Accordingly, they have spent $200,000 on six cameras which will record the license plate numbers of every car driving in and out. Though Tiburon is located on the tip of a peninsula in the San Francisco Bay in toney Marin County, and has low crime statistics (especially compared to the greater Bay Area), council members insist that this only makes the impact of crime more noticable. “If you’re out and about the way I am, every day you run into someone who was affected by a crime or knows someone who was,” Tiburon Mayor Alice Fredricks tells NPR. “So it’s real.”And though cameras are supposed to purge their data every eight hours, UC Berkley technology and public policy expert Jennifer King explains that such initiatives rarely maintain their original parameters, and that data can even be subpoenaed for civil proceedings like divorce trials.

They may start today by keeping it eight hours, but I’ll almost bet you that what they’ll find is that somebody will come back and go, ‘If only we had the data from those cameras.’ We call it ‘scope creep’ in the technology world. That scope can really crawl, really grow very quickly.

[Hat Tip: ClutchCarGo]

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16 Comments on “Tiburon, California Is Watching You!...”

  • avatar

    Yeah, it won’t be long before you can get a ticket for flipping the bird to the cameras.

  • avatar

    The insidious part is that once the data is held longer than 8 hours, there are no privacy laws limiting access to the data. Want to know where your ex-spouse (current or future) has been going and when? Can you really trust the data keepers to keep it secure without serious risk of penalty? And it’s already been shown that this kind of  travel data is given up for any police inquiry and all sorts of civil cases.

  • avatar

    Can you say Orwellian?

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    “…council members insist that this only makes the impact of crime more noticable. ‘If you’re out and about the way I am, every day you run into someone who was affected by a crime or knows someone who was,’ Tiburon Mayor Alice Fredricks tells NPR. ‘So it’s real.’ ”
    And this is a justification for indiscriminate surveillance of every citizen driving into and out of the city how? This is the gated community mentality on a metropolitan scale.

  • avatar

    Though I haven’t lived in SF for several years, Tib always seemed a bit insular.

    We often joked about them putting up gates and card access.

    Orwell was right, he was just a bit off on the date.

  • avatar

    I’d be happy enough with Sausalito.  Alice can keep her job as Tiburon’s Chief Nazi … doesn’t bother me.

  • avatar

    It stands to reason that the good people of Tiburon probably think a red light camera program is a wonderful idea too.
    When will they be getting their tattoos?

  • avatar

    I found places to park my rolling bedroom in Concord and surrounding environs… not all that far from Tiburon in miles but lightyears away in socio-economic status.
    Golly, they woulda’ likely put the entire burgh of Tiburon on lock-down of they woulda’ found me snoring within my ’75 Civic in their special little nook of the world.
    Lotta’ monied folks thereabouts.
    Not quite Atherton to the south, below “Frisco.
    Before the bug-up-their-butt anti-‘Frisco-saying crowd spews and babbles….
    I knew several born and raised ‘Frisco folks who used ‘Frisco when referencing The City.
    It was/is the newcomers who adopt the The City and try to behave as they perceive an “old timer” would act who are most vehement, demanding and insulting to those obviously trash low-life scum who would dare to even whisper ‘Frisco vice the only proper utterance of San Francisco.
    Let it be known…. amongst at least some of life-long born-and-raised Frisco boys you are being laughed at whether thou knoweth it or not.
    Frisco Frisco Frisco Frisco Frisco
    There. Commence sundry palpitations and other symptoms of cardio-pulmonary defects brought on by severe hissy fits.

  • avatar

    Wayyy OT…

    Those who live in the Bay Area, have you driven Hwy 9 from San Jose down to the ‘Cruz?  Or at least to boulder Creek?

    I do so miss my X1/9 in combination with that road…

    • 0 avatar

      My favorite night drive is Hwy 9. One day I’ll go over the edge at one of the hairpins and not be found for a week.
      I’ll have to ask some of those ruffians where they park in Tiburon. I gave up looking for parking spots years ago and just catch the ferry from SF now.

  • avatar

    How very Dutch of them.

  • avatar

    Meh. Welcome to the digital camera future. In a dozen years, every private drive, parking lot, or public entrance will be monitored to the nines.  As local apartment owner told me – to rent to responsible young women the more security cameras, the better.

    I’ll admit that the government having this data (and keeping it secure and accurate) is an issue. (And I’d be more worried about the ability to insert false photo data than record all data accurately).

  • avatar

    Hello 1984!

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