VICTORY! Santa Clara County Abandons Plans to Purchase a Stingray

May 06, 2015
Nicole A. Ozer

Page Media

We just learned that Santa Clara County will not be moving forward to purchase an invasive Stingray mobile tracking system.

A May 5, 2015 memo from the County of Santa Clara Office of the County Executive explains that “After lengthy negotiations regarding contract terms, including business and legal issues, the County and Harris have been unable to reach agreement on a contact for the purpose of the System. Accordingly, the System will not be purchased at this time.” The memo further explains that the “overarching County effort related to the development of policies concerning surveillance technology will continue.”

Stingrays are very invasive surveillance tracking technology and Santa Clara County was right to bring the issue of its acquisition to the Board of Supervisors and thoroughly consider the legal issues.

We are also very pleased that Santa Clara County is taking a close look at all of its surveillance technologies. Today’s Santa Clara County Finance and Government Operations Committee hearing at 2:00 will include a study session on public surveillance technology in the county and explore potential privacy issues. Santa Clara is one of several counties in California moving forward to pass policies to ensure proper transparency, accountability, and oversight for all surveillance technologies.

Nicole A. Ozer is the director of technology & civil liberties policy for the ACLU of California.