網頁

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Michelle Wu hosts hearing on banning use of face surveillance tech


Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu Hosts Hearing Today On Ordinance Banning City Government Use Of Face Surveillance Technology; Tomorrow Will File 17F Order To Request Information Regarding Boston Police Department's Military Equipment 

Boston, MA—  Today, the Boston City Council will host a hearing on the proposed ordinance banning city government use of face surveillance technology introduced by Councilors Michelle Wu and Ricardo Arroyo. The ordinance is the first of its kind offered in Boston.

The face surveillance ban would prevent city agencies from using face surveillance software, ensuring that people are not subject to unregulated, mass surveillance in public spaces. As protests against police brutality continue, the need to prohibit face surveillance is particularly important to protect freedom of speech and privacy, and advance racial justice.

Banning face surveillance is a part of Councilor Wu’s greater push to demilitarize the police force. At tomorrow’s Boston City Council meeting, Councilor Wu will formally introduce a 17F order to require the Mayor to provide information on the police department’s equipment, tactics, and training, as well as documentation on what was deployed during recent protests. 

The order seeks a comprehensive inventory of all Boston Police Department (BPD) equipment and resources that could reasonably fall under the definition of ‘militarized,’ including but not limited to armored personnel carriers and other armored vehicles, assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, flashbang grenades and grenade launchers, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)/Rapid Response Team (RRT) resources, and other weapons of war, as well as acquisition cost and method.

Today’s hearing will be hosted by ordinance sponsors Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu and Ricardo Arroyo and Committee Chair Councilor Lydia Edwards focusing on banning city government use of face surveillance technology and a companion ordinance to bring transparency, accountability, and oversight to the City’s use of surveillance technology more broadly, and to protect student privacy.
At Wednesday’s Boston City Council Meeting, Councilor Michelle Wu will  introduce 17F ordinance to request information from the City of Boston on the department’s heavy-duty equipment and how it was deployed during recent protests. 

Both today’s hearing and tomorrow’s city council meeting will be livestreamed at this link: https://www.boston.gov/departments/city-council/watch-boston-city-council-tv

Read the full face surveillance ban ordinance here and the surveillance oversight and information sharing ordinance here. Read the full 17F Boston Police data request here. 

OFFERED BY COUNCILORS MICHELLE WU AND RICARDO ARROYO  

  
CITY OF BOSTON IN CITY COUNCIL   ORDINANCE BANNING FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY IN BOSTON 

WHEREAS, Governments around the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with an unprecedented use of surveillance tools, including face surveillance technology, despite public health and privacy experts agreeing that public trust is essential to an effective response to the pandemic; ​and  
 WHEREAS, Facial surveillance technology has been proven to be less accurate for African American and AAPI faces, and racial bias in facial surveillance has the potential to harm communities of color who are already facing increased levels of surveillance and harassment; ​and 
 WHEREAS, Several municipalities in Massachusetts, including Springfield, Somerville, Brookline, and Cambridge, have passed local legislation to ban face surveillance; NOW ​ THEREFORE ​ BE ​ IT ​ ORDERED ​ ,  
 That the following shall take effect immediately upon passage: 

(a) DEFINITIONS 1. “​Face surveillance” ​ shall mean an automated or semi-automated process that assists in identifying or verifying an individual, or in capturing information about an individual, based on the physical characteristics of an individual’s face.  2. “Face surveillance system” ​ shall mean any computer software or application that performs face surveillance.  3. “Boston” ​ shall mean any department, agency, bureau, and/or subordinate division of the City of Boston.  4. “Boston official” ​ shall mean any person or entity acting on behalf of the City of Boston, including any officer, employee, agent, contractor, subcontractor, or vendor. 

(b) BAN ON CITY USE OF FACE SURVEILLANCE 
1. It shall be unlawful for Boston or any Boston official to:  a. obtain, retain, possess, access, or use (i) any face surveillance system, or (ii) information derived from a face surveillance system;  b. enter into an agreement with any third party for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, possessing, accessing, or using, by or on behalf of Boston or any Boston official any face surveillance system; or  c. issue any permit or enter into any other agreement that authorizes any third party to obtain, retain, possess, access, or use (i) any face surveillance system, or (ii) information derived from a face surveillance system 

2. Nothing in (b)(1) shall prohibit Boston or any Boston official from:  a. using evidence relating to the investigation of a specific crime that may have been generated from a face surveillance system; or b. obtaining or possessing (i) an electronic device, such as a cell phone or computer, for evidentiary purposes, or (ii) an electronic device, such as a cell phone or tablet, that performs face surveillance for the sole purpose of user authentication;  c. using face recognition on an electronic device, such as a cell phone or tablet, owned by Boston or by any Boston official, for the sole purpose of user authentication;  d. using social media or communications software or applications for communicating with the public, provided such use does not include the affirmative use of any face surveillance;  e. using automated redaction software, provided such software does not have the capability of performing face surveillance; or f. complying with the National Child Search Assistance Act.  

(c) ENFORCEMENT 1. Face surveillance data collected or derived in violation of this ordinance shall be considered unlawfully obtained and shall be deleted upon discovery, subject to applicable law.  2. No data collected or derived from any use of face surveillance in violation of this ordinance and no evidence derived therefrom may be received in evidence in any proceeding in or before any department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or authority subject to the jurisdiction of the City of Boston.  3. Any violation of this ordinance constitutes an injury and any person may institute proceedings for injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or writ of mandate in any 
court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this ordinance. An action instituted under this paragraph shall be brought against the respective City department, and the City and, if necessary to effectuate compliance with this ordinance, any other governmental agency with possession, custody, or control of data subject to this ordinance.  4. Violations of this ordinance by a City employee shall result in consequences that may include retraining, suspension, or termination, subject to due process requirements and provisions of collective bargaining agreements.  5. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any individual’s rights under state or federal law.  


(d) SEVERABILITY  1. If any portion or provision of this ordinance is declared invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction or by the Office of the Attorney General, the remaining provisions shall continue in full force and effect.    Filed on: May 6, 2020 

No comments:

Post a Comment