Public development of police facial recognition software policy (Police Dept)

Phil Mocek filed this request with the Seattle Police Department of Seattle, WA.
Tracking # P2014-571
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All records, along with metadata, of the public process by which various parties developed the policy that Seattle Police Department proposed to Seattle City Council for use of the facial recognition software SPD hope to purchase with U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding and use to automatically search photos of people who were booked into jail. This should include but not be limited to: meeting notices, agenda, presentations, minutes, memoranda, e-mail messages including discussion of the policy and surrounding process, and drafts and revisions of the policy. I am particularly interested in input received from the public, including representatives of ACLU of Washington, along with that from the Seattle Human Rights Commission and Seattle Police Department.

This public process was acknowledged in an e-mail message from Vinh Tang, Legislative Assistant to Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, sent from his seattle.gov e-mail address on February 10, 2013 at 2:36 p.m., in response to a related public inquiry. I became aware of it after it was forwarded to the Seattle Privacy mailing list. In that message, Mr. Tang wrote, "By way of this email, I wanted to confirm the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology committee will vote on [Council Bill] 117996 at the Wednesday 2/19/14, 2pm meeting. The legislation was discussed at last week's committee on 2/05/14. The ACLU, Seattle Human Rights Commission, and other community members have been part of the public process in developing the policy document for the Booking Photo Comparison Software (project #9 on the approved projects from the grant). Bottom line: the Booking Photo Comparison Software system will only be used for suspects; the software system will not be used on victims and witnesses."

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

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.

Sincerely,

Phil Mocek

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

RE: Public Disclosure Request # P2014-571

Dear Mr. Phil Mocek,

This letter is in response to your public disclosure request dated February 17, 2014 and received by the Seattle Police Department’s Public Disclosure Unit on February 17, 2014 for all records, including metadata, on public process by which various parties developed facial recognition software.

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 5 weeks from the date of this notification to respond. Therefore we anticipate a response to you on or about March 31, 2014.

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.

Sincerely,

Harry Bailey
Interim Chief of Police

Rodger Stephenson
Admin Specialist II
Public Disclosure Unit

HB:rs

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 Feb. 17, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #P2014-571.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 17, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #P2014-571.

Thank you for your help.

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

PDR # P2014-0571

Mr. Mocek,

This email is in further response to your public disclosure request. Attached is your first installment of responsive documents.

At this time, the Department anticipates having your next installment ready on or about April 11, 2014.

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

Thank you,
Sheila

Sheila Friend Gray
Public Disclosure Unit Manager
Seattle Police Department
206-733-9313
Sheila.FriendGray@Seattle.gov

From: Phil Mocek

RE: my public records request of February 17, 2014 (your identifier: P2014-0571)

Dear Ms. Friend Gray:

I am in receipt of your e-mail of March 31, 2014. In it, you provided a first installment of responsive records. These apparently are seven PDF documents which contain portions of e-mail messages, each of them related to revisions to a then-proposed policy for use of facial recognition software to identify people using jail records. I note that instead of providing the records themselves (the RFC 2822 files), you have created new records, removing significant portions of the original records' metadata, and making it impossible to view them in standard e-mail software.

I also note that six weeks after I requested records of this process that was widely and repeatedly reported by City Council member Bruce Harrell to be very public in nature, weeks after Council accepted public testimony and voted on a bill authorizing acceptance of funding for software needed to implement the system regulated by the publicly-developed policy, the only record you have provided that indicates that *any* related interaction with the public occurred is a single internal police department e-mail that 1) quotes an earlier message received from Doug Klunder at ACLU of Washington, and 2) reveals a failed attempt to reach one of Mr. Klunder's colleagues. Surely in the process of conducting this reportedly public process, records were generated such as slide presentations, descriptions by vendors of the facial recognition software your staff intend to purchase, announcements of and attendance records from public meetings, solicitation of public input, surveys and responses, summaries and analysis of public input received, discussion of potential revisions to policy based on that public input, etc.

However, instead of any such record of public process having occurred, you have provided excerpts of seven e-mails exchanged among City of Seattle staff. This seems like a search of e-mail that could have been accomplished in about 15 minutes. Approximately how much time is spent processing my request on a weekly basis? Who is working on this request? Has Mr. Harrell been contacted for guidance on where to seek records of the public process he claims that your staff engaged in?

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: SPD-PDR, SPD

PDR # P2014-0571

Mr. Mocek,

This email is in further response to your public disclosure request. Your last installment of responsive records are ready at the Public Request Unit, 1st floor of the Seattle Police Department Headquarters, 610 5th Ave. Their hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The fee for this installment is $1.00 for one CD @ $1.00/CD.

If you are unable to pick up your request, please send a check payable to the City of Seattle for $1.60 (to cover copying fee and postage) with a copy of this email to:
Seattle Police Department
Attn: Public Request Unit
PO Box 34986
Seattle, WA 98124-4986

The emails you reference were provided to the SPD PDU unit in paper format. Instead of coping them and providing them to you in paper format the PDU scanned those documents and sent to you via email. As a courtesy we have converted the previously sent documents to a searchable PDF.

You may file a written appeal of this response with the Chief of Police within ten (10) business days from the date of this letter. Please include your name and address and a copy of this letter together with a brief statement identifying the basis of the appeal. Please mail or deliver your appeal to:

Chief of Police
Seattle Police Department
PO Box 34986
Seattle, WA 98124-4986

This concludes the Department 's response to your request.

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

Thank you,
Sheila

Sheila Friend Gray
Public Disclosure Unit Manager
Seattle Police Department
206-733-9313
Sheila.FriendGray@Seattle.gov

From: MuckRock

Seattle Police Department
Attn: Public Request Unit
PO Box 34986
Seattle, WA 98124-4986

To Whom It May Concern:

Per the email below, a check for $1.60 has been sent to the address above. Please send responsive documents to the address below. Thank you.

From: Seattle Police Department

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Seattle Police Department

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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