Mobile Biometric Technologies (Charleston County Sheriff's Office)

Michael Morisy filed this request with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office of Charleston County, SC.

It is a clone of this request.

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Michael Morisy

Dear Custodian of Records/Public Records Coordinator,

I am collaborating with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a public interest group, and the media organization MuckRock, to survey how law enforcement agencies deploy mobile biometric technologies.

Mobile biometric technologies can be defined as any mobile device or mobile app used by law enforcement agencies to scan, capture, analyze, store, or automatically recognize any physical or biological characteristic of a subject. Commonly used mobile biometric technologies include fingerprint/thumbprint collection, facial recognition, scans of the iris or other elements of the human eye, Rapid DNA, and tattoo recognition. (Please see below for examples.)

Pursuant to South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, I request the following records pertaining to mobile biometric technologies, including those listed above, as well as other biometric technologies I have not identified:

1) Purchasing and procurement documents, including but not limited to: purchase orders, RFPs, responses to RFPs, invoices and contracts

2) Policy, procedural, and training documents, including but not limited to: use policies, standard operating procedures, training materials, presentations, privacy assessments, data retention policies, and other guidelines

3) Programming documents, including but not limited to: funding opportunity announcements, grant applications and grantor status/progress reports, reports to legislative bodies, annual reports

4) Audit documents, including but not limited to: audits of the system, misuse reports, and reports to oversight bodies

In your response, I would appreciate that you individually address each of the above categories of documents individually.

In addition to the above classes of documents, I am also seeking the following information:

- The total number of individuals whose biometric data has been collected over the last three years,
- The total number of [biometric data points] contained in the agency’s database
- The retention period for biometric data
- The number of mobile biometrics devices purchased and in use
- The total number of authorized users of the mobile biometrics devices
- Which external agencies and entities have access to biometric data in the database and under what conditions,
- Whether biometric data is combined with biographic data such as name and address in the database, and
- The process by which data is entered into the database

These documents will be published online and inform the public dialog over police technology. Because of the great public interest in these issues, I ask that you waive any fees. If your agency is unable to do so, please contact me with an estimate of the costs.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Tony Bartelme

Examples:

Mobile facial recognition
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/nov/08/cir-facial-recognition-software-san-diego/

Mobile fingerprint readers
http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1824&issue_id=62009

Mobile iris scanners
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/20/us-crime-identification-iris-idUSTRE76J4A120110720

Rapid DNA
http://www.policemag.com/channel/technology/articles/2014/02/speeding-up-dna-analysis.aspx

Mobile Tattoo Recognition
http://www.lawofficer.com/articles/print/volume-10/issue-4/features/new-smartphone-app-interprets.html

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Aug. 17, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Eric Watson

We have received your request regarding information on the Mobile Biometric Technology System. Your request is still being reviewed and the applicable information is currently being gathered. Once this process is completed, you will receive notification along with the associated cost.

From: Eric Watson

To Whom It May Concern:

Your request for public information related to mobile biometric technologies used by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is complete. Our response is as follows to your questions:

1) Purchasing and procurement documents, including but not limited to: purchase orders, RFPs, responses to RFPs, invoices and contracts:

Answer: We currently had Data-Works so no RFP was issued.

2) Policy, procedural, and training documents, including but not limited to: use policies, standard operating procedures, training materials, presentations, privacy assessments, data retention policies, and other guidelines (?)

Answer: Currently, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is drafting a policy on the proper usage of this system.

3) Programming documents, including but not limited to: funding opportunity announcements, grant applications and grantor status/progress reports, reports to legislative bodies, annual reports (?)

Answer: NONE

4) Audit documents, including but not limited to: audits of the system, misuse reports, and reports to oversight bodies

Answer: We are currently drafting a policy on the proper use of this system.

In addition to the above classes of documents, I am also seeking the following information:

Question: The total number of individuals whose biometric data has been collected over the last three years.

Answer: Public biometric data is not saved. A public image is compared against a past booking photo. If it matches an active local warrant it send an alert, but does not save the public image.

Question: The total number of [biometric data points] contained in the agency’s database.

Answer: We currently have over 18,000 active warrants on file.

Question: The retention period for biometric data (not saved in the system)

Answer: The systems does not store public images thus no retention period.

Question: The number of mobile biometrics devices purchased and in use

Answer: 2

Question: The total number of authorized users of the mobile biometrics devices

Answer: 5

Question: Which external agencies and entities have access to biometric data in the database and under what conditions.

Answer: NONE

Question: Whether biometric data is combined with biographic data such as name and address in the database, and
The process by which data is entered into the database

Answer: Visual images are compared against local warrant database, no public information or images or imported.

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