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Police To Get Live Access To Video, Sound Onboard SF Muni

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Surveillance video shows a group of thieves stealing a woman's iPhone on a San Francisco Muni bus. (CBS)

Surveillance video shows a group of thieves stealing a woman’s iPhone on a San Francisco Muni bus. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Security cameras and microphones have been in place on San Francisco buses and trains for over a decade – you’re warned of that every time you step onto a bus or train – but soon those recordings will be beamed back to San Francisco Transit officials or police in real-time, and that has privacy advocates upset.

Rose said the new transmissions will save money, and that’s why the Homeland Security is giving the agency $5.5 million to perform system upgrades. It’s all legal and above board, said Rose.

“Our audio and video surveillance does not have the ability to listen in on specific conversations,” said Rose. “The new system only picks up footage and video generally.”

Still, it’s a change in privacy that doesn’t sit well with everyone.

“All of the people who are getting onto San Francisco Public Transit are getting on with a virtual cop over their shoulders,” said Rainey Reitman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The new transmission system will start being installed the next several months.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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