|Facial recognition audit logs/usage statistics
|June 3, 2020
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
1) Copies of all user guides, handbooks, technical manuals, or comparable documents in the department's possession regarding department employee use of facial recognition system(s). These systems are commonly provided by vendors including, but not limited to, NEC, Dataworks Plus, Clearview AI, Cognitec, and others. The entirety of this request should be construed to include facial recognition systems provided by commercial vendors or developed internally.
2) Copies of all audit logs for the department's facial recognition system from Jan. 1, 2020 until the date this request is processed. Facial recognition vendors commonly include daily, weekly, or monthly audit log capabilities in their products and the U.S. Department of Justice recommends that all law enforcement agencies maintain audit logs for facial recognition systems (see: https://it.ojp.gov/GIST/1204/Face-Recognition-Policy-Development-Template-For-Use-In-Criminal-Intelligence-and-Investigative-Activities).
3) All reports detailing aggregated usage/transaction statistics for the department's facial recognition system from May 1, 2020 until the date this request is processed. Commercial facial recognition systems include the ability to easily view these daily, weekly, or monthly aggregate reports, which often detail the number of queries per day, number of daily users, number of photographs/facial templates uploaded to the database, etc. If the department's facial recognition system provides options for the time period covered in the aggregate usage or transaction statistics, I ask that you provide daily reports (rather than hourly, weekly, monthly, etc.)
4) Any documents (this includes screenshots of program dashboards) detailing the number of photographs or facial templates included in the database linked to the department's facial recognition system as of the date this request is processed.
I ask that all fees be waived as I am a journalist (examples of my recent work can be found at toddfeathers.com) and I intend to use the requested records to publish articles in the public interest and not for any commercial purpose.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.
Dear Todd Feathers:
Thank you for your interest in the public records of the Austin Police Department. Your request has been received and is being processed. Your request was received in this office on 6/4/2020 and given the reference number R039029-060420 for tracking purposes.
Please be advised that the Austin Police Department’s Central Records Division receives over 2500 requests for information a month. These requests are processed in the order received, and we strive to respond to each request promptly, as required by law.
Please know that, as a result of the large volume of requests received, the anticipated timeframe for responding to your request is approximately 45-60 business days.
You will be contacted about the availability and/or provided with copies of the records requested. PLEASE NOTE: The Texas Public Information Act does not require a governmental body to create new information, to do legal research, or to answer questions.
You can monitor the progress of your request at the link below and you’ll receive an email when your request has been completed. Again, thank you for using the Austin Public Records Center.
Austin Police Department
--- Please respond above this line ---
APD does not have facial recognition programs. As such, we do not have any responsive information.
I'm going to proceed with closing out your request, but you are welcome to call me at 512-461-4633 if you have any other questions.
All the best,
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