Mobile Biometric Technologies (Seattle Police Department)

Bernard Rodriguez filed this request with the Seattle Police Department of Seattle, WA.
Tracking #


Est. Completion None
No Responsive Documents


From: Bernard Rodriguez

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records:

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 RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I request the following Seattle Police Department 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 agencyÕs 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.

Bernard Rodriguez


Mobile facial recognition

Mobile fingerprint readers

Mobile iris scanners

Rapid DNA

Mobile Tattoo Recognition

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 fees cannot be waived, 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Bernard Rodriguez


October 9, 2015

RE: Public Disclosure Request # P2015-5928

Dear Bernard Rodriquez,

This letter is in response to your public disclosure request dated October 1, 2015 and received by the Seattle Police Department’s Public Disclosure Unit on October 2, 2015 for all records pertaining to Mobil Biometric Technologies.
Pursuant to RCW 42.56.520, this is notification that we have received your public disclosure request, and we anticipate it may take up to 2 weeks from the date of this notification to respond. Therefore we anticipate a response to you on or about October 23, 2015.

This additional time is used to research this request, collect responsive records, and/or prepare records for dissemination. Please note: Seattle Police Department currently receives approximately 4,000 public disclosure requests annually.

If you have any questions or need further assistance with this request, please contact the Public Disclosure Desk at 206-684-5481.


SauncyRae Johnson
Admin Specialist II
Public Disclosure Unit


RE: Public Disclosure Request: PDR #2015-5928

Dear Mr. Rodriguez,

This email is in response to your public disclosure request dated October 2, 2015 and received by the Seattle Police Department’s Public Disclosure Unit on October 2, 2015 for mobile biometric Technologies information.
In researching your request the following departments were contacted: SPD Video Unit, Photo Lab, Identification Unit, Information Technology, Criminal Intelligence Section, Homicide Unit, Fiscal Department, Grants and Contracts, APRS (Audit, Policy and Research Section), They all indicate that SPD does not have any responsive documents, however King County AFIS may possess records on Mobile Biometric Technologies.

If you would like you can view our Policy Manual online (Policy Manual<> link), specifically sections: 6.220, 6.290, 7.100, 7.040, 12.080, 15.360, and 16.230.

You may file a written appeal of this response with the SPD’s Legal Unit within ten (10) business days from the date of receipt. Please include your name and address, a copy of the redacted document and a copy of this letter together with a brief statement identifying the basis of the appeal. Please mail or deliver your appeal to:

Seattle Police Department
Attn: Legal Unit
610 Fifth Avenue
P.O. Box 34986
Seattle, WA 98124-4986

This concludes the Seattle Police Department’s response to your request.

If you have any questions, please contact the Public Disclosure Desk at 206-684-5481.


Jason Hardi
Administrative Specialist III


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