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City of Seattle Legislative Information Service

Information retrieved on July 24, 2016 1:42 AM


Council Bill Number: 117730
Ordinance Number: 124142


AN ORDINANCE relating to the City of Seattle’s use of surveillance equipment; requiring City departments to obtain City Council approval prior to acquiring certain surveillance equipment; requiring departments to propose protocols related to proper use and deployment of certain surveillance equipment for Council review, requiring departments to adopt written protocols that address data retention, storage and access of any data obtained through the use of certain surveillance equipment, and establishing a new Chapter 14.18 in the Seattle Municipal Code.

Status: Passed
Date passed by Full Council: March 18, 2013
Vote: 9-0
Date filed with the City Clerk: March 27, 2013
Date of Mayor's signature: March 26, 2013
(about the signature date)


Date introduced/referred to committee: March 4, 2013
Committee: Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology
Sponsor: LICATA, HARRELL
Committee Recommendation: Pass as Amended
Date of Committee Recommendation: March 6, 2013
Committee Vote: 4 (Harrell, Clark, Licata, O'Brien) - 0

Index Terms: ADMINISTRATIVE-PROCEDURES, PRIVACY-RIGHTS, WATERFRONTS, CRIMINAL-OFFENSES, SAFETY, INFORMATION-STORAGE-AND-RETRIEVAL-SYSTEMS

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note to Council Bill No. 117730

Electronic Copy: PDF scan of Ordinance No. 124142



Text

CITY OF SEATTLE

ORDINANCE __________________

COUNCIL BILL __________________

AN ORDINANCE relating to the City of Seattle’s use of surveillance equipment; requiring City departments to obtain City Council approval prior to acquiring certain surveillance equipment; requiring departments to propose protocols related to proper use and deployment of certain surveillance equipment for Council review, requiring departments to adopt written protocols that address data retention, storage and access of any data obtained through the use of certain surveillance equipment, and establishing a new Chapter 14.18 in the Seattle Municipal Code.

WHEREAS, recent incidents involving the City’s acquisition of drones and the installation of video cameras along Seattle’s waterfront and downtown have raised concerns over privacy and the lack of public process leading up to the decisions to use certain surveillance equipment; and

WHEREAS, while surveillance equipment may help promote public safety in some contexts, such as red light cameras, the benefits of such technologies should be balanced with the need to protect privacy and anonymity, free speech and association, and equal protection; and

WHEREAS, while the courts have established that people generally do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in public settings, the City should be judicious in its use of surveillance equipment to avoid creating a constant and pervasive surveillance presence in public life; and

WHEREAS, all City departments should seek approval from the City Council prior to the acquisition and operation of certain surveillance equipment; and

WHEREAS, City departments should also propose specific protocols for Council review and approval that address the appropriate use of certain surveillance equipment and any data captured by such equipment; and

WHEREAS, based upon the City Auditor Office’s recommendations related to the Seattle Police Departments handling of incar video footage, departments should also develop protocols for retaining, storing, and accessing data captured by surveillance equipment; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF SEATTLE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. A new Chapter 14.18 of the Seattle Municipal Code is established as follows:

Chapter 14.18 Acquisition and Use of Surveillance Equipment

SMC 14.18.10 Definitions

The following definitions apply to this Chapter 14.18

"Data management protocols" generally means procedures governing how data collected by surveillance equipment will be retained, stored, indexed and accessed. Information comprising data management protocols includes, at a minimum, the information required in Section 14.18.30.

"Operational protocols" generally means procedures governing how and when surveillance equipment may be used and by whom. Information comprising operational protocols includes, at a minimum, the information required in Section 14.18.20.

"Surveillance equipment" means equipment capable of capturing or recording data, including images, videos, photographs or audio operated by or at the direction of a City department that may deliberately or inadvertently capture activities of individuals on public or private property, regardless of whether "masking" or other technology might be used to obscure or prevent the equipment from capturing certain views. "Surveillance equipment" includes drones or unmanned aircraft and any attached equipment used to collect data. "Surveillance equipment" does not include a handheld or body-worn device, a camera installed in or on a police vehicle, a camera installed in or on any vehicle or along a public right-of-way intended to record traffic patterns and/or traffic violations, a camera intended to record activity inside or at the entrances to City buildings for security purposes, or a camera installed to monitor and protect the physical integrity of City infrastructure, such as Seattle Public Utilities reservoirs.

SMC 14.18.20 Council Approval for City Department Acquisition and Operations of Surveillance Equipment

Any City department intending to acquire surveillance equipment shall obtain City Council approval via ordinance prior to acquisition. Prior to deployment or installation of the surveillance equipment, City departments shall obtain Council approval via ordinance of operational protocols, unless applicable operational protocols were previously approved by ordinance. In requesting approval for acquisition of surveillance equipment, City departments shall include proposed operational protocols containing the following information for the City Council’s consideration, along with any other information specifically requested by the City Council:

A. A clear statement describing the purpose and use of the proposed surveillance equipment.

B. The type of surveillance equipment to be acquired and used.

C. The intended specific location of such surveillance equipment if affixed to a building or other structure.

D. How and when a department proposes to use the surveillance equipment, such as whether the equipment will be operated continuously or used only under specific circumstances, and whether the equipment will be installed permanently or temporarily

E. A description of the privacy and anonymity rights affected and a mitigation plan describing how the department’s use of the equipment will be regulated to protect privacy, anonymity, and limit the risk of potential abuse.

F. A description of how and when data will be collected and retained and who will have access to any data captured by the surveillance equipment.

G. The extent to which activity will be monitored in real time as data is being captured and the extent to which monitoring of historically recorded information will occur.

H. A public outreach plan for each community in which the department intends to use the surveillance equipment that includes opportunity for public meetings, a public comment period, and written agency response to these comments.

I. If a department is requesting to acquire or use drones or other unmanned aircraft, it shall propose the specific circumstances under which they may be deployed, along with clearly articulated authorization protocols.

J. If more than one department will have access to the surveillance equipment or the data captured by it, a lead department shall be identified that is responsible for maintaining the equipment and ensuring compliance with all related protocols. If the lead department intends to delegate any related responsibilities to other departments and city personnel, these responsibilities and associated departments and personnel shall be clearly identified.

K. Whether a department intends to share access to the surveillance equipment or the collected data with any other government entity.

L. A description of the training to be provided to operators or users of the surveillance equipment.

Upon review of the information required under this Section 14.18.20, and any other information deemed relevant by the City Council, the City Council may approve the acquisition and operation of surveillance equipment, approve the acquisition of surveillance equipment and require future Council approval for operations, deny the acquisition or use of surveillance equipment for the purpose proposed, or take other actions.

SMC 14.18.30 Data Management Protocols for Surveillance Equipment

Prior to operating surveillance equipment acquired after the effective date of this ordinance, City departments shall submit written protocols for managing data collected by surveillance equipment to the City Council. The City Council may require that any or all data management protocols required under this Section 14.18.30 be approved by ordinance. These data management protocols shall address the following:

A. The time period for which any data collected by surveillance equipment will be retained.

B. The methods for storing recorded information, including how the data is to be labeled or indexed. Such methods must allow for the department personnel and the City Auditor’s Office to readily search and locate specific data that is collected and determine with certainty that data was properly deleted, consistent with applicable law.

C. How the data may be accessed, including who will be responsible for authorizing access, who will be allowed to request access, and acceptable reasons for requesting access.

D. A viewer’s log or other comparable method to track viewings of any data captured or collected by the surveillance equipment, including the date, time, the individuals involved, and the reason(s) for viewing the records.

E. A description of the individuals who have authority to obtain copies of the records and how the existence and location of copies will be tracked.

F. A general description of the system that will be used to store the data.

G. A description of the unit or individuals responsible for ensuring compliance with Section 14.18.30 and when and how compliance audits will be conducted.

SMC 14.18.40 Acquisition and Use of Surveillance Equipment Related to Law Enforcement Investigations

Notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, City departments may acquire or use surveillance equipment that is used on a temporary basis for the purpose of a criminal investigation supported by reasonable suspicion, or pursuant to a lawfully issued search warrant, or under exigent circumstances as defined in case law. This exemption from the provisions of this ordinance does not apply to surveillance cameras mounted on drones or other unmanned aircraft.

Section 2. Unless Council previously approved operational protocols by ordinance for department surveillance equipment, each City department operating surveillance equipment prior to the effective date of this ordinance shall propose written operational protocols consistent with SMC 14.18.20 no later than thirty days following the effective date of this ordinance for Council review and approval by ordinance.

Section 3. Each department operating surveillance equipment prior to the effective date of this ordinance shall adopt written data management protocols consistent with SMC 14.18.30 no later than thirty days following the effective date of this ordinance and submit these protocols to the City Council for review and possible approval by ordinance.

Section 4. Following one year after the effective date of this ordinance, the City Council will review its implementation as it applies to city department use of surveillance equipment.

This ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days after its approval by the Mayor, but if not approved and returned by the Mayor within ten days after presentation, it shall take effect as provided by Seattle Municipal Code Section 1.04.020.

Passed by the City Council the ____ day of ________________________, 2013, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its passage this

_____ day of ___________________, 2013.

_________________________________

President __________of the City Council

Approved by me this ____ day of _____________________, 2013.

_________________________________

Michael McGinn, Mayor

Filed by me this ____ day of __________________________, 2013.

____________________________________

Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk

(Seal)

Valles, C Leg Surveillance March 18, 2013 Version #12

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