Millions of security cameras become equipped with “video analytics” and other AI-infused technologies that allow computers not only record but “understand” the objects they’re capturing, they could be used for both security and marketing purposes, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned in a recent report ,“The Dawn of Robot Surveillance.”

As they become more advanced, the camera use is shifting from simply capturing and storing video “just in case” to actively evaluating video with real-time analytics and for surveillance.

While ownership of cameras is mostly under decentralized ownership and control the ACLU cautioned policymakers to be proactive and create rules to regulate the potential negative impact this could have.

The report also listed specific features that could allow for intrusive surveillance and recommendations to curtail potential abuse. The organization warned legislators to be wary of technologies such as human action recognition, anomaly detection, contextual understanding, emotion recognition, wide-area surveillance, and video search and summarization among other changes in camera technology.

To address this, the ACLU suggested that government bodies develop enforceable approval policies for the use of such technology, remain transparent in the types of data collected and prohibit the sell of this type of data.