ACLU Calls on BART Board to Pass Strong Surveillance Oversight Ordinance Without Exception

Ordinance Would Be First of Its Kind for a Major Transit System

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Tomorrow, ACLU of Northern California staff and members will attend the BART Board of Directors meeting to urge the passage of a comprehensive surveillance oversight ordinance.

The surveillance technology ordinance, long advocated for by the ACLU and community partners such as Oakland Privacy, would require surveillance proposals to undergo public scrutiny prior to approval. For technologies that the Board approves, the legislation would require a set of strict limits governing how the technology and collected data can be used.

In a letter sent to the BART Board of Directors today, the ACLU commended the Board for considering the legislation while explaining that in order to fully protect riders from secret and unaccountable surveillance, the legislation must be adopted as an ordinance so that it is fully enforceable and be modified to remove or significantly narrow an exception allowing BART agencies to secretly test surveillance technology at single station for 90 days without any oversight or rules to prevent harm.  

For over two years, the ACLU has encouraged BART to take up this legislation. The BART Board of Directors placed the ordinance on tomorrow’s agenda as a direct result of an August 2018 meeting in which the Board, after hearing extensive concerns from the public and a coalition of civil rights and racial justice organizations, hit the brakes on a last minute multi-million-dollar proposal to significantly increase BART’s surveillance systems and assured the public that it would not implement face surveillance technology in the system.

When: Thursday, Sept. 13 at 9am


BART Board of Directors
2040 Webster Street, Third Floor
Oakland, CA

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