Street Level Surveillance: Help find who uses mobile biometric technology

Join the EFF and MuckRock in asking local police how they track your fingers, face, DNA, and more

Written by Michael Morisy
Edited by JPat Brown

Police departments are increasingly tracking your face, your fingerprints, your tattoos — and even your DNA. Help the Electronic Frontier Foundation and MuckRock uncover how local agencies are tracking you and bring some much-needed transparency to the murky world of biometric surveillance.

Participation is simple: Fill in the form at EFF’s website, and we’ll handle the rest. But the impact could be huge.

As biometric technologies have advanced — with fingerprint scanners now standard on many phones and DNA testing becoming a consumer industry — private companies have become increasingly aggressive about selling these services to law enforcement groups. And just as technology that powers your cell phone has shrunk in both size and cost, mobile surveillance and tracking tools are now being deployed more cheaply than ever before — and with less oversight.

There is no existing national database that tracks who is using what, how well its working, or what policies are in place to understand how your freedoms are being protected. So MuckRock and the EFF are doing a national census — via public records requests — asking agencies what they have and how they’re using it.

Once you fill out the form below, we’ll take the information and generate a legally-binding public records request, customized to the jurisdiction you’re interested in (an example of what the public records request will look like).

Together, we can map how these technologies are being used — and potentially abused — across the country. You can also see which requests have already been submitted, and file your own request here.