As local legislators debate facial recognition, some agencies restrict it with their own policies first
Last month, San Francisco became the first municipality in the country to ban the use of facial recognition by city departments. Later today, Somerville, Massachusetts may join its ranks. Agencies in other cities, however, aren’t waiting for city councils to weigh in, implementing policies that bar the use of facial recognition. Though the agency-level limits are not subject to the public development and enforcement that support city or state-level rules, they can be important measures in an agency’s own relationship with residents.
As e-scooter companies chose to ask for forgiveness, not permission while setting up shop across the country, cities worked quickly to pass regulations. MuckRock surveyed the different approaches they took.
With the resurgence of the American left, we wanted to see whether or not any agencies were tracking the 2017 May Day demonstrations. Documents we received from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis show that Antifa was specifically targeted and that DHS was sourcing its intelligence from a white supremacist website called “Occidental Dissent.”
We’ve all seen the lines of police at protests donning head to toe armor, batons and/or launchers at the ready, glowering down at protesters through face shields. But how much does all that gear cost? According to the early returns on riot gear budgeting requests we have been filing, quite a lot.
In trying to learn more about how police respond to demonstrations, MuckRock has been consistently met with exemptions and pushback, often with entire records releases being denied. Let us curate the five worst examples of this we have come across in the last few months.