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Surveillance microphones are becoming increasingly more common in buses across the country.
They have already been installed in California, Oregon, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut and Georgia, and are likely to spread to more states in the future.
According to Wired.com, the surveillance microphone systems are being paired with video systems, which can use WiFi to put the audio and images together. The videos can be watched live but are also recorded and held in a memory board for 30 days.
While the video and audio systems are installed for the passengers’ safety, some bus riders feel that their rights to privacy are being taken away. A few opponents even went as far as to compare the bus surveillance to wiretapping.
Since there are approximately six camera and microphone combinations on each bus, authorities are able to listen to conversations going on in virtually every seat.
The Verge reports that in Oregon, the surveillance technology was so advanced that it had the ability to decipher and separate individual conversations with the added bonus of cutting out background noises like traffic and wind.
Only time will tell how far these security measures will go.