California Assembly Privacy Committee Approves Legislation Requiring Community Oversight of Law Enforcement Surveillance Technology Decisions

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ACLU of Northern CA

Media Contact: Tenoch Flores, (415) 254-5970

Sacramento – Today the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection passed SB 1186 (Hill), advancing the legislation to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration before going to the full Assembly. The bill would require public debate and that law enforcement obtain the permission of local elected leaders prior to acquiring new surveillance technology.

The following statement is attributed to Matt Cagle, Technology & Civil Liberties Attorney with the ACLU of Northern California:

With today’s vote, California legislators have again made clear that they get the message: public safety in the digital age must include local community oversight of decisions about surveillance technology.

SB 1186 arrives as Californians of all backgrounds express concern about the federal government’s exploitation of powerful technology. Earlier this year, California communities like Oakland and Davis adopted ordinances requiring community oversight of how surveillance technology is deployed and used. At the same time, Culver City and San Pablo rejected license plate surveillance systems that ICE has sought to exploit. And just this week, over 600 employees from Salesforce, one of the largest employers in the Bay Area, expressed public concerns about federal immigration authorities’ abuse of their technology, joining their counterparts at Amazon and Google in ringing the alarm.

SB 1186 ensures all California communities have a voice and a seat at the table when local law enforcement seeks to procure surveillance technologies including drones, license plate readers, and social media monitoring software.

As the Trump Administration tries to power its abusive deportation machine with every available resource – including local law enforcement surveillance databases – SB 1186 gives Californians an important tool to fight back.

SB 1186 is supported by a broad coalition of organizations, including ACLU of California, American Friends Service Committee, Asian Law Alliance, Black Lives Matter Sacramento, California Immigrant Policy Center, Centro Legal de la Raza, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice – Ventura County, Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights, Coalition for Justice and Accountability, Color of Change, Council on American-Islamic Relations – California, Courage Campaign, Defending Rights & Dissent, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Fair Chance Project, Fools Mission, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Greenlining Institute, Indivisible California, Media Alliance, Oakland Privacy, OCCORD – Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development, Our Family Coalition, Presente Action, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, Restore the 4th SF-Bay Area, San Francisco Peninsula People Power, San Jose Peace & Justice Center, techLEAD San Diego, Tenth Amendment Center, and The Utility Reform Network.

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