NW Minn. county first in state to use video chat for 911 calls

I heard this on the radio this morning. I am wondering what your reaction is to something like this. Has this been enacted where you live? Obviously, there are a whole host of privacy issues here …

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Ahhh, that age old question of trading privacy for ‘security’. There is just absolutely no chance this will be abused and expanded to spy on citizens. It’s a good idea in theory, but I doubt they’ve actually thought through the true ramifications of creating a system like this.

Creating those privacy audits like we learned about a couple weeks ago may be a boon to keeping technology like this in check.

This is another moment where still being on Facebook could help - one of my college friends who I only had Facebook contact info for is a 911 operator. I wonder what her take on this would be. When I last saw her posts, she had a lot of links about how much that job can burn you out and how much of a toll it takes on your psyche.

In some ways, I bet having more ways to assess the situation would help those operators, but it would also be difficult to experience the trauma of seeing life-and-death situations in real time. And yes, frightening to think about how things could go badly, but I’d be most concerned about the impact it could have on the operators.

I have all of the usual privacy and unintended consequence concerns I usually have with something like this, but I also don’t really believe that the technology will work well enough for emergencies. I have used video chat for various reasons (meetings, personal calls, etc.), and I don’t recall very many times that it went smoothly with no interruptions or issues with the tech working. In several cases, I have had to give up and settle for a voice-to-voice phone call. Fortunately, none of those cases were emergencies where a person needed medical attention quickly.

This is like those Face Time doctor consultations - I wonder what ‘confidentiality’ will look like down the line considering there are so many players involved here between doctor and patient: app, device, ISPs, telcom, etc. yikes.