What Do We Think About NYPD’s Use of Surveillance Technology?

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NYPD Surveillance Technology Explainer (r) [PDF]

As New Yorkers, we have until February 25th, 2021 to tell the NYPD what we think about the surveillance technology tools -- 36 tools like facial recognition and Shotspotter -- currently in use by the department and about the policies that they have proposed to govern the use of these tools.

Where Can I find the Draft Impact and Use Policies?

The draft policies have been posted here, and are now available to the public for comment until February 25th.

How Does the Public Commenting Work?

Thanks to the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technologies (POST) Act passed by the NYC City Council last June 2020 in the wake of nationwide protests for racial justice and against police brutality, the NYPD has been required to publish impact and use policies for all existing surveillance technologies that are already in use. (In the future, the NYPD will be required to publish impact and use policies 90 days in advance of implementing any additional surveillance technologies.)

Why Is This Important?

Based on public citizens’ feedback and comments, the NYPD will review, respond to, and make any revisions to the policies before a final version of the policies are published in April 2021.

Who Can Comment?

Anyone can comment. Collectively, this public commenting group will compile comments to the NYPD aggregated throughout our group forums. Individually, you can directly send comments to the NYPD through their email link (postact@nypd.org) provided in the webpage.

There are three ways to participate in the public commenting group:

  • Forums (Feb. 10th & 17th at 6pm EST): We're hosting two group discussion Forums to share knowledge, inspire civic discussion, and gather public comments. We’ll have a Q&A with expert panelists representing technologists, attorneys, criminologists, artists, and civic organizations followed by breakout group discussions.
    • Forum #1: Wednesday, February 10th, 6pm EST -- REGISTER HERE
      • Renée Cummings is a criminologist and AI Ethicist. She is the first Data Activist in residence at the University of Virginia, joining the School of Data Science in the fall of 2020. Cummings is a Community Scholar in AI & Criminal Justice at Columbia University, as well as the founder of Urban AI, a Certified Ethical Emerging Tech Examination Developer for CertNexus, and a Founding board member of Springer's AI and Ethics Journal.
      • Phillip C. Hamilton is an experienced trial attorney and litigator in the areas of complex state and federal criminal defense, civil rights actions, and contractual formation and disputes. Since 2015, Phillip has primarily defended white-collar professionals charged with serious, high-profile offenses. Phillip is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and regularly guest lectures trial advocacy and negotiation seminars in law schools around the New York City metropolitan area.
      • Reyna Lubin is an associate in the Eisenberg & Baum Law Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Lubin was an Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. At the DAs office, Ms. Lubin dedicated herself to helping victims of domestic violence. Ms. Lubin is a regular speaker on issues relating to domestic violence, police brutality, and racial injustice.
      • Ke Yang is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University and a member of the Visualization and Data Analytics Research Center whose current project examines the impact of technical bias on the model serving in data science pipelines. Yang’s research interests include ethical topics such as fairness, accountability, transparency, interpretability, and the social impact of the algorithms in data science pipelines.
    • Forum #2: Wednesday, February 17th, 6pm EST -- REGISTER HERE
      • Details TBA!

  • Slack Group: JOIN HERE
    • Share your ideas, resources, literature, and engage in interactive discussion.

We will also be posting explainers on some of the surveillance tools in use by the NYPD, so check back over the coming days.

Thank you for joining us!

Categories: Press
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