Privacy

As Drones Become Norm In Police Work, A SoCal Police Department Explains Why It Bought In

Whether the intent is to find lost seniors suffering from dementia or support a manhunt for fleeing suspects, police in Chula Vista, California, (just east of San Diego) are turning to drones for quick aerial intelligence. Alongside the city’s fire department, the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) is investing in the technology as a way to maximize time spent by officers on tactical operations.

“Smart Cities,” Surveillance, And New Streetlights In San Jose: An EFF Response

The San Jose City Council is considering a proposal to install over 39,000 “smart streetlights.” A pilot program is already underway. These smart streetlights are not themselves a surveillance technology. But they have ports on top that, in the future, could accommodate surveillance technology, such as video cameras and microphones. EFF and our allies sent a letter to the San Jose City Council urging them to adopt an ordinance to ensure democratic control of all of that community’s surveillance technology decisions—including whether to plug spy cameras into the ports of smart streetlights.

New England Town Councilor Proposes Drones Watch For Crime; ACLU Objects

A city councilor wants to deploy drones to monitor high-crime neighborhoods and provide an extra measure of security at major community events – an idea that raises privacy concerns with the ACLU of Massachusetts. Brian K. Gomes’ proposal, which is not expected to be heard until next month or possibly January, calls for a meeting between the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety and Neighborhoods and Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro to discuss the use of drones. “I think it can be a crime fighter, undercover surveillance in neighborhoods across the city where we have problems,” Gomes said. “It’s another tool for the Police Department to fight crime.”

FAA Deputy Administrator Says Privacy, Preemption Are Two Biggest UAS Issues

Marke “Hoot” Gibson, the deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said two of the biggest issues facing the FAA related to unmanned aviation systems, or drones, are privacy and preemption. Gibson said the FAA is not in the business of dealing with privacy, but there is a long history of case law dealing with traditional aviation. “However, it has generally dealt with noise and airports —this is personal use— it comes right in your back yard,” he said, referring to unmanned aircraft.

Security Camera Registration Program Launched in Beaverton (Ore.)

Police in Beaverton (Ore.) have launched a security camera registration initiative here in an effort to fight crime, including acts of terrorism. “Surveillance video is huge,” Beaverton Police Officer Jeremy Shaw told KATU News about the potential for surveillance video to help solve crimes and find suspects. “I mean it puts those people at that […]

Will Auto Insurance Companies Utilize Questionable Baltimore Surveillance Tech?

As the Baltimore Police Department considers whether to continue using a private aerial surveillance program to fight crime, the man who owns the technology is looking to court other clients in private industry. Ross McNutt, president of Persistent Surveillance Systems, said he is considering marketing his company’s ability to collect aerial footage of the city to auto insurance companies, to help them determine which drivers are at fault in accidents and whether claims are valid.

How A Prison Drug Smuggling Case In Kansas Led To A Showdown Over Recordings Of Inmate-Attorney Talks

When attorneys said in court recently that phone calls between lawyers and inmates at Leavenworth Detention Center had been recorded and obtained by federal prosecutors, the development was just the latest revelation in what a United States public defender says was a systemic violation of constitutional rights.

Thorny Legal Issues Surrounding Body Cameras: From Privacy To Public Access

More and more law enforcement agencies across the country are outfitting their officers with body-worn video cameras and report better policing and public behavior as a result. But Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation, a Washington, D.C. organization that helps improve policing through research and training, said “There’s more we don’t know about the impact of body worn cameras than what we do know.” From privacy, public access, to cost.

How Police Body Cameras Change Our Perception Of Right And Wrong

There was something about the sudden, near-universal praise for police body cameras that rubbed Seth Stoughton the wrong way. A law professor at the University of South Carolina who has spent his career studying the regulation of law enforcement, Stoughton saw the potential of equipping thousands upon thousands of American police officers with cameras recording […]

Hospital Drug Surveillance Captured Videos Of Female Patients Undergoing Surgery

When Sharp Grossmont Hospital (San Deigo, CA) officials realized anesthesia drugs were disappearing from surgery carts, they turned to video surveillance to catch those responsible. In the process, they also captured many images of women undergoing surgery. The video surveillance has raised questions about patient privacy and how well the hospital managed its storage of dangerous drugs.