Flock Safety is built on a foundation of protecting owner privacy. We are a team of passionate engineers and developers focused on creating cutting-edge technology to help solve and prevent crime, all while protecting citizen privacy. The Flock Safety team recognizes the concerns around security cameras, specifically License Plate Readers. That’s why we’ve built a camera that is different.
With Flock Safety, your safety system is wholly yours. You decide who can access your data, when, and how they can access it. Flock does not monitor or share your data, and your data is wiped from the cloud after 30 days.
Recently, Slate published an article that included concerns about ALPR usage both privately and publicly. Despite the arguments against data handling by other ALPR companies, Slate mentioned Flock Safety as a company both private citizens and public agencies have used successfully in conjunction with each other.
ALPRs can change how departments police—they can change the level of crimes that they go after. Garrett Langley, the CEO of Flock Safety, told me that this is one of the technology’s selling points: “Issuing a BOLO [“Be on the lookout”] for a nonviolent crime is just not cost-effective.” If you know that a bald guy in a gray Toyota illegally dumped trash in your lawn, the police won’t try to track him down. But if they have the plate, enforcing lower-level crime becomes much easier. Several of the property managers and homeowners associations I spoke to emphasized that this is one of the main benefits of their ALPR systems. Along with burglaries, they’re mostly concerned about people breaking into cars to steal personal belongings; police wouldn’t investigate that before, but now homeowners associations can do the investigation for them and hand over the evidence.
Valerie is part of a homeowners association in West Los Angeles that began considering ALPRs after a series of break-ins in the area. “Mostly just into cars,” she says. “Break the windows and steal sunglasses or whatever.” She and her neighbors considered other options first, like hiring a private patrol car for the neighborhood, but that seemed too expensive. So a few weeks ago, her block joined together to buy two Flock Safety cameras—enough to see every time a car entered or left their street. They split the cost, so she says each house only has to pay about $130 a year, and two of her neighbors volunteered to monitor the system.