Capitol Hill Community Post | Public comment period opening for technologies subject to city’s surveillance ordinance

From the Seattle Information Technology Department

The City of Seattle will hold a series of five public meetings and ask for public comment regarding an initial six of the 29 technologies that meet the City’s definition of a surveillance, as defined in the City’s Surveillance Ordinance (ORD # 125376), which went into effect on September 1, 2017. The meetings will feature a short presentation on the technologies and then attendees will break down into small group discussions. As required under the legislation, the public comment period for these technologies opened on Monday, October 8 and will run through Monday, November 5. The schedule and location of these public meetings is listed below. The West Seattle location, which is highlighted, has been moved to the American Legion Post 160 of West Seattle (West Seattle Legion Hall) on Alaska Street.

The recent update to the Surveillance Ordinance is grounded in current issues of government surveillance against historically and unfairly targeted communities, including undocumented immigrants. Departments hope to address potential community concerns about these technologies by providing details on the policies that govern their use.

To promote informed engagement, the City of Seattle has produced one-page overviews of each technology to supplement the Surveillance Impact Reports available for review. In the interest of equity, these, the flyers announcing the public meetings, and other materials have been translated into seven of the City’s common non-English languages, which are also available at seattle.gov/privacy.

A member of the public may provide comments in three ways:

  1. attendance at any of the meetings listed below
  2. mail comments to Attn: Surveillance & Privacy Program, Seattle IT, PO Box 94709, Seattle, WA 98124
  3. submit a comment online at seattle.gov/privacy.

This is the first round of public comment and covers technologies used for parking, traffic, and emergency response. No new surveillance technologies have been submitted for review since the Ordinance went into effect on September 1, 2017. For information on the technologies or Surveillance Ordinance visit seattle.gov/privacy.

Comments will be included in revised Surveillance Impact Reports and submitted to the newly created Surveillance Working Group, made up of external partners, for a civil liberties and equity assessment. The final Surveillance Impact Report will be presented to City Council and available to the public.

Public Meetings

PublicMeetingDepartments PresentingDate and TimeLocation
Meeting 1Seattle Police DepartmentOctober 22, 2018

5-6:30 p.m.

Columbia City Branch Library

4721 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

Meeting 2Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Fire DepartmentOctober 25, 2018

5-6:30 p.m.

American Legion Post 160 of West Seattle (West Seattle Legion Hall)

3618 SW Alaska St. Seattle, WA 98126

Meeting 3Seattle Police DepartmentOctober 29, 2018

5-6:30 p.m.

Bertha Knight Landes Room

1st Floor City Hall – 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

(5th Ave door)

Meeting 4Seattle Police DepartmentOctober 30, 2018

5-6:30 p.m.

Green Lake Branch Library

7364 East Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115

Meeting 5Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Fire DepartmentNovember 5, 2018

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Green Lake Branch Library

7364 East Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115

Please contact Surveillance@seattle.gov if you require any language or other accommodations.

Complete list of Group One technologies:

DepartmentTechnologies Submitted for Public Comment
Seattle Police Department
  1. Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR),
  2. Parking Enforcement Systems (includes ALPR)
Seattle Fire Department
  1. Hazardous Materials Cameras
  2. Emergency Scene Cameras
Seattle Department of Transportation
  1. License Plate Readers
  2. Traffic Cameras
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