Who is watching you? Everything you wanted to know about the Surveillance Ordinance but were afraid to ask


From the City of San Diego: The San Diego Police Department uses certain technologies (Automated License Plate Recognition and Smart Streetlights) to conduct investigations, enhance response to critical incidents and public threats and safeguard the lives of community members that must comply with the City of San Diego’s Surveillance Ordinance. Proposed Smart Streetlight and ALPR Locations in University City include the intersections of Genesee and Nobel; Genesee and La Jolla Village Drive; and Nobel and Judicial.

The Surveillance Ordinance requires that for each technology that meets the criteria for surveillance, City departments must:

  • Prepare a Surveillance Use Policy that includes the purpose, use, data collection, data access, data protection, data retention, public access, third-party data sharing, training, auditing and oversight, and maintenance.
  • Hold at least one or more community meetings in each City Council district where the proposed surveillance technology is deployed, with an opportunity for public comment and written response. City Council may require departments to conduct additional community engagement on the technology.
  • Prepare a Surveillance Impact Report including description, purpose, location, impact assessment, mitigations, data types and sources, data security, fiscal cost, third-party dependence, alternatives, track record, and public engagement and comments.
  • Present the item to the Privacy Advisory Board for review.
  • Present the item to City Council for the acquisition and deployment of all new and currently-used surveillance technologies.
  • Provide annual reports on surveillance technology use, impact, and non-surveillance technology acquisitions.

For more information, visit: https://www.sandiego.gov/police/data-transparency/technology

High Resolution Map available at: Proposed Smart Streetlight and License Plate Readers

Map courtesy of OB Rag: https://obrag.org/2023/03/san-diego-police-want-500-more-smart-streetlights-plus-license-plate-readers-public-meeting-in-midway-today-march-7/


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