|Submitted||Aug. 9, 2015|
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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 California Public Records Act (California Government Code §§ 6250), 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.
Mobile facial recognition
Our agency is not yet up and running on mobile biometric devices. This is something which is on our Systems and Technologies Bureau’s lists of items to research for future implementation. Our officers do not have issued smartphones or tablets capable of this technology and currently it is not within our budget.
Please respond to me and confirm you have received this response to your PRA. I would also appreciate some background on your company and information about your mission. Are you are a research company for other entities? I believe our agency has received random emails from your company in the past and has had difficulties receiving a human response. If you can provide a human contact number, it would be appreciated in order to respond to your requests properly and have confirmed acknowledgement of communication.
Sergeant E. Hsueh
Criminal Records/Felony Fugitives
[SBSO Official Star 2012]
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Hi Sergeant Hsueh,
Thanks so much for your email; this confirms I received your response.
MuckRock works with a variety of news organizations and public interest groups in filing, tracking, and posting public documents, as well as doing original reporting on matters of the public interest.
Our office number is 617-299-1832, and is typically staffed 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time. Our general email box is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have concerns about errant request followups or need to reach staff.
Thanks again for your help, and I consider this request closed.