New York City’s Surveillance Battle Teaches National Lessons

In january Of new york Public Status of Monitoring Technology Act Effectively gone, the City of New York Police Department was suddenly forced to expand equipment that had long been kept from public view. But instead of giving transparency to New Yorkers, NYPD gave error-filled, boilerplate statements that hide almost everything of value. Almost none of the policies list specific vendors, monitoring device models, or information-sharing practices. The department’s facial recognition policy states that it can share data according to “criminal investigations, civil litigation, and disciplinary proceedings,” a standard so broad that it is largely meaningless.

This marks the biggest test of Community Control of Police Surveillance (CCOPS), a growing effort to ensure that the public can decide how communities are surveyed. That the tools like Facial Recognition, Drone and Predictive Policing Are acceptable for their neighborhood. The battle being played in New York City — not only what that tech police are allowed to use but how they use it, how it oversees use, and how it is disclosed — is widespread on the future of surveillance Keeps a lesson. More cities and municipalities across the country have implemented policies on surveillance techniques such as facial recognition, and more citizens push for CCOPS in their communities, with challenges and shortcomings to face. New York City Show that the requirements of transparency are only on paper, when the public forces the police to raise them.

Surveillance techniques already widely used by police departments around the country often make surveillance low-cost, fast, and passive. to take Facial recognition: When run on video cameras on public squares, it is an algorithm for remote and passing (eg, no physical search is required), and even outside the traditional range (ie, cheap and Fast) through can continuously monitor the face. Fourth Amendment Warrant Procedure. Other examples abound: drone protests used to fly over crowds; Police cars equipped with automated license plate readers that license and scan plates on the streets or through parking lots as law enforcement vehicles. The algorithm is all used from the police justice system to the criminal justice system.Prediction“crime bail hearing till Whipping bench.

Despite the examples of NYPD, There are many CCOPS success stories. The first adopters of the CCOPS model were Oakland, California, where generations of police advocated against violence, primarily Black and latex advocates, 2015 ended with creation of Oakland Privacy Commission. Oakland was not just the first but the strongest CCOPS ordinance, with the Freedom of Privacy Commission and full power to approve or ban police surveillance equipment. Since its creation, the Privacy Commission has questioned department officials several times, completely prohibiting the use of drones. Predictive policing and biometric surveillance software banned, And most recently Voted to recommend stopping Oakland Police using automated license plate readers.

Across the Gulf, San Francisco sued in 2019 with its own CCOPS legislation. While it didn’t Go so far to create an independent commission, It empowered the city’s legislature to approve or prohibit police surveillance equipment. In particular, the bill also included a ban on government use of facial recognition for the first time in the country. Many cities have done the same in the months since the banning of targeted technologies such as facial recognition, or improving overall accountability. Four Courts have banned police from signing unlawful agreements with surveillance vendors, taking a general excuse for police ambiguity. Other success stories include San Diego, whose city council Passed a surveillance-governance ordinance A after backlash in late 2020 Police “Smart Streetlight” Program.

None of these decisions came out of thin air; The confluence of community activism, media reporting, local politicians’ attention and other factors made these ideas for surveillance reform in reality. New York City is currently running into several challenges with its own surveillance oversight, highlighting the need for continued work, monitoring not just about transparency on paper but forcing and enforcing changes in police practice for.

According to the Public Monitoring of Per Capita Surveillance Technology Act, NYPD Published a preliminary list Deploy monitoring technologies that include audio recording devices, cell-site simulators, license plate readers and facial and iris detection. The public has until February 25 To submit a comment in response. But these new essential disclosures make the point – because adequate democratic oversight of these monitoring techniques is not achieved simply by being present. Of department Published documentation on facial recognition Like every other policy, copy-and-pasted assurances are included, claiming that the devices will only be used for legitimate law enforcement purposes.