SF Board of Sups Approves Historic Face Surveillance Ban and Oversight Law
(From Press Release) – 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.
San Diego City Council Passes Resolution in Support of Weber’s Use of Force Reform Bill
(From Press Release)– After an emotional hearing in chambers today, the San Diego City Council passed a resolution in support of AB 392, legislation authored by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. (D-San Diego), aimed at addressing the excessive use of deadly force by law enforcement. The resolution passed on a 6-2 vote.
“This has been a hard road for those families who have lost loved ones,” Weber said. But the resolution the City Council passed today will go far to strengthen their voice and mine in our efforts to save lives in California.”
AB 392 will allow officers to use deadly force only when there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
The resolution was introduced by San Diego City Councilmember Monica Montgomery who serves as the chair of the council’s public safety committee.
“By providing a clear definition for when police officers can use deadly force, this bill will put California at the forefront of strong use of force policies that will help to set the standard across the nation and will undoubtedly save lives of both community members and officers,” she said. “I will continue to support measures that address police accountability and transparency and strongly encourage our representatives in Sacramento to do the same and pass this important legislation.”
Weber’s bill will move to a vote on the Assembly Floor in the next few weeks.