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AB-1215 Law enforcement: facial recognition and other biometric surveillance.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/25/2019 09:00 PM
AB1215:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 08, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1215


Introduced by Assembly Member Ting

February 21, 2019


An act to add Section 832.19 to the Penal Code, relating to law enforcement.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1215, as amended, Ting. Law enforcement: facial recognition and other biometric surveillance.
Existing law states the intent of the Legislature to establish policies and procedures to address issues related to the downloading and storage of data recorded by a body-worn camera worn by a peace officer, and requires that those policies and procedures be based on best practices. Existing law requires law enforcement agencies, departments, or entities to consider certain best practices regarding the downloading and storage of body-worn camera data when establishing policies and procedures for the implementation and operation of a body-worn camera system, as specified.
This bill would prohibit a law enforcement agency or law enforcement official from installing, activating, or using any biometric surveillance system in connection with an officer camera or data collected by an officer camera. The bill would authorize a person to bring an action for equitable or declaratory relief against a law enforcement agency or official who violates that prohibition and would make a law enforcement agency or official liable for actual damages of not less than $4,000 and reasonable attorney’s fees. prohibition.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Californians value privacy as an essential element of their individual freedom, and are guaranteed a right to privacy in Section 1 of Article 1 of the California Constitution.
(b) Facial recognition and other biometric surveillance technology pose unique and significant threats to the civil rights and civil liberties of residents and visitors.
(c) The use of facial recognition and other biometric surveillance is the functional equivalent of requiring every person to show a personal photo identification card at all times in violation of recognized constitutional rights. This technology also allows people to be tracked without consent. It would also generate massive databases about law-abiding Californians, and may chill the exercise of free speech in public places.
(d) Facial recognition and other biometric surveillance technology has been repeatedly demonstrated to misidentify women, young people, and people of color and to create an elevated risk of harmful “false positive” identifications.
(e) Facial and other biometric surveillance would corrupt the core purpose of officer-worn body-worn cameras by transforming those devices from transparency and accountability tools into roving surveillance systems.
(f) The use of facial recognition and other biometric surveillance would disproportionately impact the civil rights and liberties of persons who live in highly policed communities. Its use would also diminish effective policing and public safety by discouraging people in these communities, including victims of crime, undocumented persons, people with unpaid fines and fees, and those with prior criminal history from seeking police assistance or from assisting the police.

SEC. 2.

 Section 832.19 is added to the Penal Code, immediately following Section 832.18, to read:

832.19.
 (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Biometric data” means a physiological, biological, or behavioral characteristic that can be used, singly or in combination with each other or with other information, to establish individual identity.
(2) “Biometric surveillance system” means any computer software or application that performs facial recognition or other biometric surveillance.
(3) “Facial recognition or other biometric surveillance” means either of the following, alone or in combination:
(A) An automated or semiautomated process that captures biometric data of an individual.
(B) An automated or semiautomated process that assists in identifying an individual or generating surveillance information about an individual based on biometric data.
(4) “Law enforcement agency” means any police department, sheriff’s department, district attorney, county probation department, transit agency police department, school district police department, highway patrol, the police department of any campus of the University of California, the California State University, or a community college, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, and the Department of Justice.
(5) “Law enforcement official” means an officer, deputy, employee, or agent of a law enforcement agency.
(6) “Officer camera” means a body-worn camera or similar device that records or transmits images or sound and is attached to the body or clothing of, or carried by, a law enforcement official.
(7) “Surveillance information” means either of the following, alone or in combination:
(A) Any information about a known or unknown individual, including, but not limited to, a person’s name, date of birth, gender, or criminal background.
(B) Any information derived from biometric data, including, but not limited to, assessments about an individual’s sentiment, state of mind, or level of dangerousness.
(8) “Use” means either of the following, alone or in combination:
(A) The direct use of the biometric surveillance system by a law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency.
(B) A request by a law enforcement officer that a law enforcement agency or other third party use the biometric surveillance system on behalf of the requesting entity.
(b) A law enforcement agency or law enforcement official shall not install, activate, or use any biometric surveillance system in connection with an officer camera or data collected by an officer camera.
(c) In addition to any other sanctions, penalties, or remedies provided by law, a person may bring an action for equitable or declaratory relief in a court of competent jurisdiction against a law enforcement agency or law enforcement official that violates this section. A law enforcement agency or official that violates this section is also liable for actual damages, but in no case less than four thousand dollars ($4,000), and reasonable attorney’s fees.