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The Body Camera Accountability Act (AB 1215)
Active Our Work Legal Docket Legislation Leg Toolkit Know Your Rights Need Legal Help? The Body Camera Accountability Act (AB 1215) Author :   Assemblymember Ting Share: Body cameras were promised as a way to hold police accountable not as surveillance systems to be used against the public. Unfortunately, body cameras are now at risk of being paired with face surveillance technology - despite the fact that face recognition algorithms routinely misidentify people of color and women. Face-scanning body cameras would be a dangerous, radical expansion of police powers at a time when our top priority should be creating new approaches to public safety that work for all of us.AB 1215: The Body Camera Accountability Act, introduced this year by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), will temporarily stop California law enforcement from adding face and other biometric surveillance technology to officer-worn body cameras for use against the public in California. AB 1215 is a common-sense bill that rightly concludes that keeping our communities safe doesn't have to come at the expense of our fundamental freedoms. We should all be able to safely live our lives without being watched and targeted by the government.Sponsors: ACLU of California, API Chaya, Anti Police-Terror Coalition, Asian Law Alliance, Citizens Rise!, Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, Council on American-Islamic Relations – California, CRASH Space, Data for Black Lives, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Indivisible CA, Justice Teams Network, Media Alliance, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Oakland Privacy, RAICES, README at UCLA, Root Access, San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, Secure Justice, Library Freedom Project, Tor Project, and X-Lab. Updates   Passed 09/11/2019 Passed - Senate Floor Approved 06/11/2019 Approved - Senate Public Safety Passed 05/09/2019 Passed - Assembly Floor Approved 04/23/2019 Approved - Assembly Public Safety Committee  Introduced 02/21/2019 Introduced Issues :   Privacy and Government Surveillance, Racial Justice, Technology and Civil Liberties

Facial Recognition Technology Falsely Identifies 26 California Legislators with Mugshots
Media Contacts: Daisy Vieyra/ACLU of CA 916-824-3266 Nannette Miranda/Ting 916-319-2019SACRAMENTO — After putting facial recognition technology to the test using photos of all 120 members of the State Legislature, the American Civil Liberties Union of California released results that further support the need for AB 1215 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), which bans facial recognition in police body cameras. The analysis shows that facial recognition software marketed to law enforcement agencies mistakenly matched the faces of one out of five lawmakers, 26 lawmakers total, with images in an arrest photo database, including Ting’s. More than half of those falsely identified are lawmakers of color, illustrating the risks associated with the technology’s dangerous inaccuracies and the certain erosion of civil liberties should California police departments add the technology to officer body cameras.“This experiment reinforces the fact that facial recognition software is not ready for prime time - let alone for use in body cameras worn by law enforcement,” said Ting. “I could see innocent Californians subjected to perpetual police line ups because of false matches. We must not allow this to happen.”The software falsely identified several Northern California lawmakers, including Assembly members Adam Gray, David Chiu, Frank Bigelow, Jim Cooper, and Mark Stone, and Senators Brian Dahle, Cathleen Galgiani, Jerry Hill, Jim Beall, Scott Wiener, and Steve Glazer. In the real world, such mistakes could have falsely implicated those legislators in a number of alleged crimes. Modeling the test after law enforcement’s current known uses of facial recognition technology, the ACLU compared every California state legislator with 25,000 public arrest photos. An independent expert from UC Berkeley verified the results.“Facial recognition-enabled police body cameras would be a disaster for communities and their civil rights, regardless of the technology’s accuracy,” said Matt Cagle, Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney, ACLU of Northern California. “Even if this technology was accurate, which it is not, face recognition-enabled body cameras would facilitate massive violations of Californians civil rights.”A similar test conducted last year by the ACLU misidentified 28 sitting members of Congress. Multiple studies of facial recognition technology have found systems to be inaccurate when used against women and people of color. Axon, a prominent body camera manufacturer, announced in June that it would not add facial recognition to its body camera systems, after its ethics board declared that it could not “ethically justify its use on body-worn cameras.” Microsoft also recently refused to allow a California law enforcement agency to use its facial recognition software with officer body cameras due to ethics concerns.The California State Senate is expected to vote on AB 1215, also known as The Body Camera Accountability Act, in the coming weeks. The Legislature must pass all bills by September 13. The list of falsely identified California lawmakers is available here.The Body Camera Accountability Act (AB 1215) is supported by a wide coalition of organizations that safeguard the rights, safety, and freedom of all Californians in all our diversity: ACLU of California, API Chaya, Anti Police-Terror Coalition, Asian Law Alliance, Citizens Rise!, Center for Media Justice, Color of Change, Council on American-Islamic Relations – California, CRASH Space, Data for Black Lives, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Indivisible CA, Justice Teams Network, Media Alliance, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Oakland Privacy, RAICES, README at UCLA, Root Access, San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, Secure Justice, Library Freedom Project, Tor Project, and X-Lab.### Image :   File Under :   Technology and Civil Liberties Hide default image? :  

ACLU Comment on Axon’s Decision to Ban Facial Recognition on Body Cameras
SAN FRANCISCO – Axon, a maker of officer worn body cameras used by many United States police departments, today announced that it will not add facial recognition systems to those devices.This announcement comes as the California Legislature considers the ACLU-sponsored Body Camera Accountability Act (AB 1215), a bill that would prohibit the use of facial recognition and other biometric surveillance on law enforcement body cameras, and as the Massachusetts Legislature considers its own legislation halting the government’s use of these systems.Matt Cagle, Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, said:Body cameras should be for police accountability, not surveillance of communities. One of the nation’s largest suppliers of police body cameras is now sounding the alarm and making the threat of face surveillance technology impossible to ignore. The California legislature, and legislatures throughout the country, should heed this warning and act to keep police body cameras from being deployed against communities. The same goes for companies like Microsoft and Amazon, who also have an independent obligation to act, as Axon did today. Face surveillance technology is ripe for discrimination and abuse, and fundamentally incompatible with body cameras — regardless of its accuracy.The Body Camera Accountability Act heads next to the California Senate floor for approval after passage last month by the California Assembly. File Under :   Privacy and Government Surveillance Technology and Civil Liberties Hide default image? :  

Records Reveal ICE Agents Run Thousands of License Plate Queries a Month in Massive Location Database
Search logs depict the dangers of nationwide mass government surveillance On February 27, 2018, at 4:54 p.m., a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent typed a query into a database of driver locations collected by automated license plate readers across the United States. The license plate database returned nine results. As an explanation for why ICE was searching the database, the agent gave the following reason: "ADMINISTRATIVE SPOUSE OF TARGET" This was just one of thousands of queries that ICE ran that month.Across seven months in 2018, ICE queried a nationwide license plate location database operated by Vigilant Solutions thousands of times each month, according to search logs obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Northern California. Using the explanations provided by ICE’s lawyers about what query types constituted searches, it appears that ICE performed over 30,000 such queries of this database per month. Because of agency redactions, we cannot assess whether these queries represent individual, unique searches or whether some are multiple attempts to find information about the same license plate.The ACLU recently revealed that over 9,000 ICE agents have access to billions of license plate scans in the Vigilant database, collected by law enforcement agencies and private companies operating automated license plate readers (ALPR). Location information over time reveals, as the U.S. Supreme Court said last year, an individual’s “familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.”In the logs, the reasons ICE provides for its searches of license plate location information raise serious concerns that the agency is using the database without meaningful safeguards and oversight. ICE’s use of the driver location database not only fuels its destructive deportation machine but also threatens the civil liberties and privacy of all drivers. Congress must investigate this program before it spins further out of control.The Search Logs Offer a Window into How ICE Carries Out Immigration EnforcementThe search logs display the range of reasons ICE searches for immigrants and references ICE operations:   "ADMINISTRATIVE VISA OVERSTAY" - February 23, 2018 "ADMINISTRATIVE DACA DENIED" - April 29, 2019"ADMINISTRATIVE POSSIBLE ILLEGAL ALIEN LIVING IN IMPERIAL VALLEY WITHOUT LEGAL DOCUMENTS" – June 7, 2018"INVESTIGATIONS WORKSITE INVESTIGATION, ID OF POSSIBLE WORKSITES" – August 28, 2018"ADMINISTRATIVE CRIM REINSTATE-OPERATION KEEP SAFE" - February 8, 2018ICE carried out an operation called “Keep Safe” in Northern California in February 2018, and operations with similar names later in the year elsewhere. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned residents about the imminent arrests just before the Northern California raids began, which resulted in over 200 people being arrested.The logs also suggest that ICE uses the database to conduct surveillance of family members—with no apparent protections to ensure that U.S. citizens are not ensnared—in order to arrest and deport immigrants."CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF OWNER'S SON FOR REMOVAL PURPOSES" – May 30, 2018"INVESTIGATIONS VEHICLE OF FAMILY MEMBER OF VISA OVERSTAY SUBJECT" – June 11, 2018"INVESTIGATIONS SEARCHING FOR PARENT OF POSSIBLE USC [US CITIZEN] CLAIM" – August 6, 2018Government Surveillance in ActionThe search logs contain reference to ICE using location information to reconstruct an individual’s private life through tracking their vehicle’s movements, assembling a detailed portrait of their daily habits and activity."INVESTIGATIONS ATTEMPTING TO LOCATE TRAVEL PATTERNS AND MOST LIKELY LOCATIONS OF INTEREST WHERE TO LOCATE SUBJECT" – February 12, 2018"ADMINISTRATIVE TO SEE WHEN SUBJECT DEPARTS AND RETURNS TO RESIDENCE" – February 8, 2018"INVESTIGATIONS RUNNING PLATE TO DETERMINE BUSINESS LOCATIONS WHERE OWNER IS GOING TO"  – March 27, 2018"INVESTIGATIONS PATTERN OF LIFE" – June 18, 2018In addition to being invasive, some searches appear to be wholly inappropriate. ICE justifies searches with vague, arbitrary descriptions that provide little detail on purposes of the searches."INVESTIGATIONS INVESTIGATION INTO NEFARIOUS ACTIVITY" – February 12, 2018"CRIMINAL FINDING A BAD GUY" – February 12, 2018"CRIMINAL DOES SHAGGY LIVE IN THE BRONX?" – April 20, 2018"CRIMINAL NBA FINALS" – May 10, 2018ICE may also be tracking drivers on behalf of other federal and local agencies. The search logs also reference Interpol Red or Blue Notices, which foreign countries use to seek the arrest of government critics and individuals who haven’t been convicted of a crime."INVESTIGATIONS HELPING THE FBI WITH THINGS THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE ON THEIR OWN" – February 21, 2018"ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPOL RED NOTICE INVESTIGATION" – June 15, 2018"INVESTIGATIONS HELP OTHER LEA [LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY]" – May 30, 2018"CRIMINAL ASSIST CUMBERLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE" – July 17, 2018The search logs also show ICE frequently using a feature called “Locate Analysis” that may attempt to predict where drivers will be in the future. According to Vigilant materials from 2015, “Locate Analysis” provides a “probabilistic assessment of where to most likely locate a suspect vehicle,” including the locations most recently visited and whether the vehicle is more likely to be seen at day or night.And on one occasion, ICE used a feature called “Stakeout Browsing Mobile.” According to Vigilant materials and training video, this allows a user to search for license plates scanned in the vicinity of a particular location. A “Stakeout Browsing Mobile” query by ICE in March 2018 yielded almost 10,000 results, potentially subjecting drivers to dragnet surveillance.Congress Must Curtail ICE’s Mass Surveillance The search logs are a chilling illustration of how a government agency can exploit powerful surveillance technology. The ACLU has long-warned that mass license plate surveillance can easily lead to institutional abuse. Agencies can cloak unconstitutional targeting of people by race or political speech by providing vague justifications for using surveillance.After the ACLU Foundation of Northern California first released FOIA documents on ICE’s use of this database, ICE issued a statement that it receives notifications if an agent uses the service in an “unauthorized manner,” and that any personnel using the database in an “inappropriate manner” could be disciplined. Repeated instances of seemingly inappropriate justifications across several months of search logs raise serious questions as to whether ICE is scrutinizing or disciplining agents who misuse the database.Congress and the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General should investigate ICE’s sweeping use of this database and act to protect the privacy of all drivers. At a minimum, ICE should not have access to a warrantless location tracking database for civil immigration enforcement. And ICE should not conduct searches for criminal investigations without a probable cause warrant. In addition, Congress should press DHS to release its legal interpretation policy and guidance regarding the Supreme Court's recent Carpenter case, which placed constitutional limits on government demands for location information.Finally, Congress must not reward ICE and other agencies that target immigrants with more resources for surveillance that tears families apart or creates a virtual border wall.ICE’s days with this surveillance database should be numbered.The search logs are available here. Please note that the ACLU redacted certain cells that contained personally-identifying information by placing a black box in that cell.Vasudha Talla is a staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California.  Hide default image? :  

California Legislature Caves to Big Tech Pressure Again and Undermines Consumer Privacy Rights
SACRAMENTO–Today, the California Senate Appropriations Committee refused to advance SB 561, a bill that would allow Californians to hold tech companies accountable for privacy violations. SB 561 is authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, at the request of Attorney General Becerra, and supported by consumer and privacy advocates.“The legislature just put Big Tech before Californians by killing the only remaining pro-consumer privacy bill, refusing even to let it even move forward to a vote,” said Chris Conley, Policy Attorney with ACLU of California. “Without SB 561, Californians won’t have a meaningful way to hold tech companies accountable if they break the law and misuse our personal information. What we’re seeing is a clear and unprecedented takeover of the legislature by tech industry interests.”SB 561 would have allowed individuals to enforce privacy rights when tech companies violate laws protecting individual privacy. It also would have removed the “get out of jail free” card that leaves companies immune to any consequences if they “fix” any violation within 30 days – after the damage to consumers has already been done.“Without the ability to effectively enforce the law, the CCPA that was touted as a major privacy victory last year rings hollow,” Conley said.This year dozens of bills aim to revise the California Consumer Privacy Act. SB 561 was the only remaining bill that would strengthen consumer privacy after the Assembly Privacy Committee killed AB 1760, the Privacy for All Act, last month.Tech companies and other industry interests have supported dozens of bills that would weaken the CCPA and which are opposed by the ACLU of California, including the following anti-privacy and pro-tech industry bills:AB 25, authored by Assemblymember ChauAB 846, authored by Assemblymember BurkeAB 873, authored by Assemblymember IrwinAB 981, authored by Assemblymember DalyAB 1416, authored by Assemblymember CooleyAB 1564, authored by Assemblymember BermanSB 753, authored by Senator Stern File Under :   Privacy and Government Surveillance Technology and Civil Liberties Hide default image? :  

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approves Historic Face Surveillance Ban and Oversight Law
SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance, a historic law that brings accountability and oversight to surveillance technology and makes San Francisco the first city in the United States to prohibit government use of face surveillance systems.  The law was authored by Supervisor Aaron Peskin.In response to today’s vote, the coalition supporting this legislation, comprised of advocates for civil rights, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, the unhoused, and immigrants’ rights, released the following statement:“We applaud the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for bringing democratic oversight to surveillance technology, and for recognizing that face surveillance is incompatible with a healthy democracy.By passing this law, the city gave the community a seat at the table and acted decisively to protect its people from the growing danger of face recognition, a highly invasive technology that would have radically and massively expanded the government’s power to track and control people going about their daily lives. Supported by Bay Area voters, and a broad coalition of privacy, civil rights, and racial justice groups, this powerful measure will protect the safety and civil rights of all San Franciscans who deserve to live their lives without being targeted by dangerous high-tech surveillance. In the hands of the government, face surveillance would supercharge discriminatory policing, stifle civic engagement, and entangle people with ICE.This law sets a strong standard for public safety in the digital age. We encourage other communities to say no to face surveillance, and to put rules in place to make sure technology works for the people, not against them.”The San Francisco Board of Supervisors' vote comes as Oakland and Berkeley, California, and Somerville, Massachusetts are also considering a ban on government use of face surveillance.Polling data shows that California voters overwhelmingly support laws that require public debate and a vote by lawmakers before government agencies can obtain or use surveillance technology. The same data also demonstrates that these voters strongly believe that the government should not be able to deploy face and other biometric surveillance against the public.The coalition in support of the Stop Secret Surveillance ordinance includes the ACLU of Northern California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Law Alliance, CAIR California, the Center for Media Justice, Centro Legal De La Raza,  the Coalition on Homelessness San Francisco, Color of Change, Data for Black Lives, DSA San Francisco, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Faith in Action Bay Area, Fight for the Future, Freedom of the Press Foundation, the Greenlining Institute, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, Indivisible San Francisco, Justice for Mario Woods, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Right SF, Media Alliance, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Oakland Privacy, the San Francisco Public Defender Racial Justice Committee, San Francisco Latino Democratic Club, Secure Justice, the Tenth Amendment Center, and the Transgender Law Center. File Under :   Privacy and Government Surveillance Technology and Civil Liberties Hide default image? :  

Your Personal Information is Yours, Not the Raw Material for Surveillance Technology
From Family Photos to Face Surveillance The information that you share with a company should not be repurposed or sold without your consent. But companies are building algorithms from massive repositories of personal information, collected from people who are not told about how the company will use their information.A recent report revealed a troubling example of this invasive practice. A Silicon Valley-based company called Ever apparently used billions of private photos they collected from their users to secretly train a face surveillance tool marketed to the military and law enforcement.Your private photos are yours and should not be the raw materials of surveillance technology.This is an egregious violation of people’s privacy. When companies collect people’s personal information—like private photos—for one purpose, they should get permission from their users before they contort that data for an entirely different purpose.So what happened here? Ever describes itself as “a company dedicated to helping you capture and rediscover your life's memories.” Its website shows a photo album called “Weekend with Grandpa” depicting a young child playing outside. Ever’s “free” and “unlimited” photo storage and sharing app, called Everalbum, offers to make “it easy to share your favorite memories with the people who matter most.” Ever eventually accumulated billions of photos from millions of people into this “private” platform.According to NBC News, Ever used these photos to create a face surveillance system that it markets to companies that want to “build a complete picture” of their customers, police who want to operate real-time face surveillance on video feeds or body cameras, and even the military. There’s no indication that Ever clearly explained to its users that it would take the faces of people in their private photos to construct such a system.This is a privacy violation for the artificial intelligence age.Face surveillance poses a grave threat to civil rights, free speech, and the safety of communities of color, immigrants, and activists. Ever should have asked the people who created—in Ever’s words—“one of the largest, most diverse, proprietary tagged datasets in the world” for permission to build a powerful piece of surveillance technology based on their private personal information.Owning your personal information means deciding how it’s used. Our favorite devices and services also collect sensitive and private information ripe for misuse. Mobile phones maintain a comprehensive record of our locations that could be sold to a bounty hunter or to a marketer or a hedge fund. Apps, watches, and fitness trackers know intimate details about our bodies. Websites track what we read, what we consider purchasing, and what we eventually buy. Almost everything about us can find its way into a database.Without legal protections, companies can use our most private information for purposes that people would not expect or approve of. And companies who gather, repurpose, and monetize our personal information will not have—and do not deserve—our trust.This was true in 1972, when here in California, voters added a right of privacy to the state constitution to prevent governments and businesses from “stockpiling unnecessary information about us and from misusing information gathered for one purpose in order to serve other purposes.” But modern privacy laws have not kept pace with the new ways companies can misuse technology, even though voters overwhelmingly believe that companies need to do more to protect personal information.Whether it’s Facebook running psychological experiments on people, a company like Ever building a surveillance tool from billions of private photos, or menstrual-tracking apps being used to monitor employees, companies are exploiting our personal information, and it needs to stop. It's long past time to update our privacy laws for the 21st century to protect people from misuse of their personal information. Hide default image? :  

ACLU Statement on Unanimous Vote to Advance San Francisco Surveillance Oversight Law and Facial Recognition Ban
SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the San Francisco Rules Committee unanimously voted to advance the Stop Secret Surveillance ordinance, a bill that requires that there be public notice, clear use policies, and a vote by the Board of Supervisors before a city department can acquire surveillance technology. The ordinance also prevents city departments from using face surveillance technology.The ordinance will now go to the full Board of Supervisors on May 14th. The legislation is supported by a diverse coalition of 25 local and national privacy, racial justice, and civil rights groups, and currently has 5 cosponsors on the Board of Supervisors.In response to today’s committee vote, Matt Cagle, Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, issued the following statement:“The ACLU applauds the Rules Committee for passing this ordinance and urges the full Board of Supervisors to do the same. Democratic oversight of surveillance technology promotes public safety and protects our civil rights. With this law, San Francisco can demonstrate real tech leadership by giving our communities a seat at the table, and the power to create safeguards to prevent misuse.”The rules committee vote follows recent polling data showing that more than three quarters of people who are likely to vote in the Bay Area and in California in 2020 elections support laws that require public debate and a vote by lawmakers before law enforcement or any other government agency obtains surveillance technology.The polling results also demonstrate that voters strongly believe that the government should not be able to monitor and track people using their face or other biometric information. File Under :   Racial Justice Technology and Civil Liberties Hide default image? :  

California Assembly Privacy Committee Kills Consumer Privacy Bill and Only Hears Tech-Sponsored Bills
SACRAMENTO–Today, the California Assembly Privacy Committee will hear only consumer privacy bills promoted by tech companies to weaken the California Consumer Privacy Act. This comes after AB 1760, a bill to strengthen privacy protections authored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks and sponsored by civil rights organizations and digital privacy advocates was pulled when committee members would not to support the bill.“Big tech has apparently privatized the Privacy Committee,” said Jacob Snow, a Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney with the ACLU of California. “Recent polling shows that 90% of Californians want to require companies to better protect their privacy. Tech companies have been able to do whatever they want with our personal information for far too long.”AB 1760, Privacy for All, would have strengthened the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in a number of critical ways.The only other pro-consumer privacy bill moving through the legislature this year is SB 561, authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and sponsored by the California Attorney General. The ACLU of California also supports SB 561.Tech companies and other industry interests have supported dozens of bills that would weaken the CCPA, including several that the Privacy Committee will hear today and which are opposed by the ACLU of California:AB 25, authored by Assemblymember ChauAB 846, authored by Assemblymember BurkeAB 873, authored by Assemblymember IrwinAB 981, authored by Assemblymember DalyAB 1564, authored by Assemblymember BermanThe ACLU also opposes SB 753, authored by Senator Stern, another bill that would weaken the California Consumer Privacy Act.AB 1760 was sponsored by a large, diverse coalition of civil rights, privacy, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, and economic equity organizations, as well as 24 for-profit technology companies.“The civil rights groups and privacy advocates that sponsored AB 1760 know that consumer privacy has serious implications for vulnerable communities. That’s particularly devastating in this political moment when immigrants and Muslims are targeted by the federal government, and in which social media companies enabled surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists,” said Snow. “We will continue to advocate for privacy rights for everyone in our state.”When laws don’t require companies to protect consumers’ personal information, the result is disasters like Cambridge Analytica, massive data breaches, and online discrimination.Facebook allowed advertisers on the platform to exclude Black and Latino “ethnic affinity” users from seeing information about housing, employment, and credit; Google ads for high paying jobs were shown disproportionately to men rather than women.Major social media companies shared data that enabled surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists.Data brokers have compiled and sold lists of rape survivors and seniors with dementia, putting them at increased risk of fraud and scams.Facebook prompted users as young as 13 to install an app to track their habits, and that gave the company access to everything their phone sent or received over the internet.AB 1760 was sponsored by a broad coalition including Access Humboldt, ACLU of California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, Asian Law Alliance, Brave Software, Business and Professional Women of Nevada County, CalPIRG, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Center for Digital Democracy, Center for Human Rights and Privacy, Center for Media Justice, Citizens for Choice, Citizens Rise!, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Color of Change, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Reports, Council on American-Islamic Relations – California, CreaTV, Digital Privacy Alliance, DuckDuckGo, Ella Baker Center, Fair Chance Project, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Equal Rights Advocates, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Line Break Media, Media Alliance, Oakland Privacy, Our Family Coalition, Pangea Legal Services, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Restore The Fourth, San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, Secure Justice, The Greenlining Institute, The Utility Ratepayer Network (TURN), Women’s Foundation of California, X-Lab, Youth Tech Health.24 tech companies also signed on in support of AB 1760. Image :   File Under :   Technology and Civil Liberties Hide default image? :  

A Promising California Bill Could Help Communities Stop Secret And Discriminatory Police Surveillance
SB 21 Could Help Communities Stop Secret And Discriminatory Police Surveillance California is on the verge of passing Senate Bill 21 (SB 21), a strong bill that, in its current form, would help empower communities and their local elected officials to stop secret and discriminatory use of police surveillance technologies. Making sure state lawmakers enact robust surveillance reform laws is all the more important right now as the Trump administration equips its deportation force with surveillance capabilities, aggressively pursues political activists, and escalates pressure on sanctuary cities. Now is the time to make sure a strong SB 21 — with no further amendments — gets across the finish line.For years, the secret use of surveillance technology has been consistently expanding with virtually no restraints. Law enforcement agencies nationwide, using federal funds, have amassed sophisticated technologies, including Stingray cell phone trackers, automatic license plate readers (ALPRs), drones, and algorithm-based policing software.These surveillance technologies are frequently used to target immigrants and communities of color.  South Asian, Muslim and Sikh protesters were spied on in San Jose. Baltimore police used facial recognition technology to identify people protesting the police killing of Freddie Gray. And social media surveillance technology in Fresno enabled police to monitor hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter as “threats to public safety.” Residents of Compton, California, have been monitored in their own backyards with high-powered, fly-over cameras and the New York Police Department used license plate readers to track people as they worshiped at mosques. Now immigrant communities living along the United States and Mexico border are facing an invasive new program to scan their eyeballs.Californians want reform, with more than two-thirds supporting both local and state-level rules to rein in police surveillance. If passed in its current form, SB 21 will become the first state law to require transparency and community control over police decisions about surveillance technology. The bill requires a public debate over proposals to acquire new surveillance technologies. It places local communities and elected officials at the center of every decision to approve or reject their locality’s use of surveillance technologies.  And should local elected leaders approve the use of a surveillance technology, SB 21 requires the adoption of a council-approved policy governing its use and regular evaluations of its impact on civil rights and civil liberties.>> Take Action: Urge California to pass a strong SB 21 to rein in secret and discriminatory surveillance.The need for surveillance reform is not just a local issue. Sensitive surveillance information about who we are, where we go, and what we do that is collected by local law enforcement often flows, without adequate controls, to the federal government through fusion centers, which collect and share surveillance data from all levels of government, as well as other domestic spying infrastructure. This is not a hypothetical threat.  Just ask Oakland, California, which despite being a sanctuary city, discovered that U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was using a fusion center to get its hands on Oakland’s license plate reader data.  SB 21’s provisions, which empower communities to consider if and how any surveillance information is shared with the federal government, are particularly important in the current political climate.SB 21 builds on the nationwide Community Control Over Police Surveillance (CCOPS) movement, a reform effort spearheaded by 17 organizations, including the ACLU, that is designed to put local residents and elected officials in charge of decisions about surveillance technology. Last summer, Santa Clara County, California passed a groundbreaking ordinance ensuring consistent transparency, accountability, and oversight procedures for all surveillance decisions in the county. Nashville adopted a CCOPS law earlier this summer, and Seattle just voted to strengthen its first-in-the-nation surveillance ordinance.California’s SB 21 has emerged at a key moment — right now at least 18 U.S. cities are actively considering their own surveillance bills. Oakland is poised to enact a robust ordinance in an effort led by the city’s new Privacy Advisory Commission. In New York City, the ACLU of New York and various community groups are fighting to end the NYPD’s secret use of surveillance technology and prevent any inappropriate data sharing with the Trump administration. Residents in St. Louis are working to pass a CCOPS law as a part of broader efforts to address discriminatory policing in the region.We need strong local and state protections to push secret surveillance into the light, put communities back in control, and prevent abusive practices that all too often target immigrants, people of color, religious groups, and activists.We hope you’ll urge California lawmakers to pass a strong SB 21 – with no further amendments – and in so doing set an example for other cities and states to follow.To learn more about the CCOPS effort and how to start or join an effort in your community, please visit www.CommunityCTRL.com.Nicole A. Ozer is the Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director with the ACLU of California. Chad Marlow is Advocacy and Policy Counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union.