State of Surveillance: Police, Privacy and Technology
Funding. For this program is provided by the Gruber, Family Foundation. And by. The members of KQED a. Co-production. Of KQED, and the Center for Investigative Reporting. Cutting-edge. Technologies. Changing, the way police fight crime what, we essentially do is a live version of Google Earth only, with a full TiVo capability. We. Basically kept it pretty hush-hush, the. Power to track more people, and data than ever before, we. Worth its weight in gold, the, biggest concern, is that anybody. Could end up being in that database. Where. To draw the line between security, and privacy, there. Is a trade-off. Still. Here placing a. Look. At the spate of surveillance. Hello. And welcome to this special presentation state, of surveillance I'm Thuy, vu last. June we learned the National Security Agency. Has been collecting, Americans, phone records and email, for years, as the national conversation continues. About the federal government's, access to private information, local. Law enforcement in, California, are experimenting. With new crime-fighting. Tools eyes, on the street and in the skies feeding. Images, to command, centers amanda, pike with the Center for Investigative Reporting, shows. Us some of the new technologies, now being tested. Officer. Rob Halverson of the Chula Vista Police Department, is testing a technology, that could change how police fight crime. Hi, Corky tell them he's. On a call to verify the identity of a woman just arrested, for possession of narcotics. He. Doesn't need to ask her name or check her ID he, just takes her picture. Look. Here please, his. Tablet, uses facial recognition software. To, find the suspects, mugshot in criminal history, you. Can lie about your name you can lie about your date of birth you'll I bought you a dress but tattoos. Birthmarks, scars don't lie police. Have access, to more data than, ever before, raising, questions about, how that information is, used and stored the. Tablet, is part of a pilot program in San Diego County it's. Been very helpful and some people, just have to have the threat of okay, you don't want to tell us who you are we're, just going to take a photo of you and we're going to be able to compare and then when people kind of realize the technology, we now have they're, more. Likely to tell us their real name in that. More, and more police, are using biometrics. Biological. Markers from face scans and palm prints in addition, to fingerprints, to identify suspects. Fingerprints. Themselves, have been revolutionized. Now. They're taken on a mobile scanner. They're. Sent thousands, of miles away to this highly secure FBI complex, in West Virginia. This, is next-generation, identification. These. Servers, are the heart of the FBI's, next-generation. Identification. Program or ng I officially. Launching, this summer the billion dollar program will add facial, scans and other biometrics. To the existing, trove of, 137. Million fingerprints. These. Computers, analyze, each fingerprint, and photo that, officers, send, comes. To these servers and these, servers actually do, the searches, the, 137. Million of them and then, if they get a hit they go down to pick some information, out of the storage to send the criminal history back to the querying officer. This. Data center runs up to, 160,000. Searches a day, it's. A big one you can picture it as being a football field on top, of another football, field. The. FBI has been collecting, fingerprints, since the early 1900s. Prints. Were originally, checked by hand and it could take months to find a match. Now. Computers, do the same work in minutes. But. Until recently the, FBI had, no easy way to search palm prints and mug shots taken, at the time of arrest, that.
Frustrated. Agents, like Jeremy wilts the acting assistant director, of criminal justice information, services, we. Could do very little with the, mug shots that. We had if we, were collecting palm prints we, could do very little with those we had nothing that really searched those so, if an unsolved crimes you would struggle and be able to search that self so insert. Ngi. Any. Local. Law enforcement officer connected, to ngi can submit an image and get a list of faces with matching features so, these would be the candidates, that would come back. The, FBI is also adding, iris scans to the database because each person's, eye contains, a unique pattern that's easy to capture. For. Wilts the real value of n GI is solving, cold cases, think. About how powerful that is I can't, wait till those success stories come out we, worth its weight in gold of why. We developed ng I the. Biggest concern, and, what, people need to know about next-generation, identification. Is that. Anybody. Could end up being in that database. Jennifer. Lynch is a lawyer with the Electronic, Frontier Foundation which. Is suing, the FBI to find out exactly, what data the agency, is collecting, the, way that ngi is set, up the FBI has said is that they're just including, mug shots but, that is really just a policy, that the FBI has taken there's no law that says that they, have to limit, the. Inclusion, of images, to mug shots the. FBI, acknowledges. That it's facial recognition system, sometimes, Flags, the wrong people. 15%, of the time the suspect won't, be among the top 50, hits those. People, whose face, images, come up suddenly. Have to prove, their, innocence, rather than the government having to prove their guilt and that's completely, different again from how our democracy has been set up. Privacy. Advocates, worry that a growing web of traffic, monitors, license, plate readers and networked security, cameras, will soon allow police, to track our every move. All, without a warrant. The. Legal issues over how these new technologies, are used and, who has access to all of this information are, far from settled in.
California. One of ten states that guarantees, a right to privacy, the new tools pose a challenge where. To draw the line between safer. Streets and spine. At. A high-tech nerve, center in los angeles police grapple. With this question every, day about, a thousand, cameras. In the city are fed and monitored, here mostly, for, investigative. Purposes, captain, John Romero commands, the real-time analysis, and critical response division which, tracks crimes across the city with an up-to-the-minute, map of every, incident that's reported a small. Picture of a bomb, would be a bomb call the the masks, or Robbery calls the fists, or assault crimes. Romero. Says new technologies, allow the department. To do predictive, policing, determining. When and where crimes are more likely to occur, as part. Of a new initiative police, also monitor, private, cameras near the Hollywood sign and warn off interlopers. Through a speaker they are trespassers. At this point, Romero, believes that while the public may be uneasy, about being watched they'll soon see the benefits, in early. America when we started putting up streetlights people thought that this, is the government, trying, to see what we're doing at night to. Spy on us and so. Over time things. Shifted. And now. If you tried to take down streetlights. In Los Angeles or Boston or anywhere else people would say no it's a public safety you're you're hurting. Our public safety just, so you can save money on on lighting, I think that. Cameras will eventually, get there where cameras will not be, a problem in the future. Across. Town sergeant, Doug aqui tani of the LA County Sheriff's Department recently, supervised, dinh experiment, involving cameras, on a whole, new level he. Gave the center for investigative reporting. And exclusive. Account of the test. This system was kind of kept, confidential. From. Everybody in the public a. Lot. Of people do have a problem with the you know eye in the sky the Big Brother so in order to mediate any of those kind of complaints. We basically kept it pretty hush-hush. The. Array of cameras, on this aircraft records. High-resolution. Images, of the 25, square mile area for, up to six hours it. Can track every, person and vehicle on the ground beaming. Back the pictures in real time, it's, citywide, surveillance, on an unprecedented, scale. What. We essentially do is a live version of Google Earth only, with, a full TiVo capability, it allows us to rewind, time and go, back and see events that we didn't know occurred, at, the time they occurred, are. You doing, Ross McNutt is the president, of persistent, surveillance systems. In Dayton Ohio one, of the few companies in the u.s. that does wide, area, surveillance. McNutt. Developed a similar system in the Air Force that was used in Iraq and Afghanistan. It. Was at the height of the ie D problem, and our objective, was to be able to follow the Bombers from, where the bomb went off back, to the house that they were building the bombs and be, able to use that towards. The end of the time, when the system was deployed, we. Looked at it and said hey there's some real law enforcement, applications, to this McNutt. Has tested, the technology, in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Dayton where, he says it provided, police with useful, leads on shootings, armed, robberies, and narcotics, cases, the. LA County Sheriff's Department tested, wide area surveillance in, 2012. Over Compton, a compact. City with a high crime rate. We. Literally watched all of Compton, during, the times that we're flying anywhere. Within that whole area we, can zoom down live, or after the fact two, resolutions, just, barely to be able to follow people. My. First initial thought was like Oh big, brother we're gonna have a camera flying over us but. With the wider surveillance, you would have the ability, to solve. A lot of the unsolvable, crimes, with no.
Witnesses, No videotape surveillance. No, fingerprints. From, a mobile command center McNutt, monitored. 911. Coordinated, with officers, on the ground there had been a rash of crimes in Compton with, people getting necklaces. Snatched so the LA Sheriff's Department. Asked us to investigate, this, I. Remember. This call it was basically our typical, middle-aged, woman walking down the street with a friend of hers having a conversation, a, young, and male approached, sirs and as he's just walking down the street. She. Thinks he's just a regular pedestrian. Doesn't. Notice anything about him grabs, the necklace off her neck runs. Down the street. In. Traditional, policing. We. Won't be able to solve these types of crimes. 99%, of time we're not gonna find anybody. We. Went to the address and we watched it and what we saw was somebody, getting, out of a car here, and. Then. The person walks, down the street here, while, the car circles, around to the other side of the block and. What you have is a person walking down the road there in just. A moment here is where the necklace is stolen right, there and then. The person is going to run off quickly, to. Get into the car back, into the car that's driven around the block and, we can follow that person off the, system doesn't have the resolution, to identify, license, plates or people a person, is just a pixel, analysts. Track the car and rely on cameras, at traffic lights or gas stations, to capture a close-up, image. In. This case the suspects, eventually, drove out of camera, range without, being identified but. A katana says the experiment, still gave police some, valuable, leads. Now. We know that that car was involved, so. That way our deputies, can start monitoring, those streets maybe they will see that car driving by with the two bad guys in there and maybe we can stop them and arrest them. So. Far no police department, has purchased the system a Kotani, says it can't provide the kind of detailed, images, that would hold up in court it, was a great experiment but in the, end the resolution, just wasn't enough for. Us to use it here on a day-to-day basis. McNutt. Believes, that persistent, surveillance could, lead to a lasting, drop in crime but acknowledges. Privacy, concerns, what. Happens, when the technology, improves, is the, future a permanent, record of our every move, there. Is a trade-off.
Between Security. And some, aspects, of privacy, by. The fact that we're actually able to provide useful, information against. Multiple, crimes per mission and, contribute, to solving everything from murders to in the case you saw Nikolas snatch. That. Allows us to. Provide. More security. With less loss of privacy than. Any of the other options that are out there for. Now deputies, are back to patrolling the streets of Compton from the ground but. They say that if the technology, improves, they'll take another look at wide area surveillance I'm, sure the people once they find out that. This experiment went on there might be you, know a little upset, but. Knowing. That we can't see into their bedroom windows we can't see into their pools we, can't see into their showers, you. Know I'm. Sure they'll be ok with it with the amount of technology out in, today's, age with. Cameras. On ATMs at every 7-eleven, every supermarket. Pretty. Much every light pole at all the license-plate cameras, the, red-light. Cameras, people, have just got used to being watched for the most part. But. Not everyone. These. Protestors in Oakland fear that police will soon be able to watch anyone. Anytime, with. Little oversight. For. Months they fought a plan to create what they called a citywide surveillance. System an extensive. Network of live camera, and data feeds, in. March. They convinced, the City Council to scale back its plans. For. Now. But. As police experiment. With ever more sophisticated, technologies. The debate will continue on, the balance, between security and. Privacy, and. Where. To draw that line a. Key. Tool for solving, crime used to be eyewitnesses someone. Who sees something with their own eyes and describes, it to police or in court but. As we just saw electronic. Eyes and, ears can capture more information, not just of criminals, but all of us how. Effective, are they and at what cost, Scott, Shafer takes it from here. New. And evolving surveillance, technology. What does it mean for police, prosecutors. And law abiding citizens, worried about their privacy, joining. Me to discuss the, implications are Mike, Sena director, of the Northern California Regional, Intelligence Center, David. Greene senior, staff attorney at the Electronic, Frontier Foundation and, Jennifer, Granick civil, liberties director at the Stanford, Center for Internet and Society, let. Me begin with you Jennifer we heard that sheriff's deputy from Los Angeles saying we're already being on. Camera, everywhere with ATMs, and red-light cameras, FastTrack. So what what's the big deal what's how is this different, what's, different is when all that information, is aggregated and, one, party, in this case the government can get a hold of all of that because it means that they know so much about us that, was really something, that was never recorded, before or, even, was just recorded, for specific, purposes, and now it can be used for more, general policing, or could, be abused but, for, general policing isn't that a good thing don't we want to be safe there's, an assumption that if there's less privacy, there's automatically, this uptick in security, and that people want that I don't think we can just assume that we're trading privacy, for security, every time and people like it it's more complicated well I'm like Santa you're the director of this Northern California, Regional, Intelligence Center, these so-called fusion, centers there are six of them in California. You're constantly in touch with, other law enforcement agencies. Sharing, information collecting. Information what's. The best rationale. For doing that for collecting, all this data and keep well, there's, also a misperception, about what. Data is being collected how, much data there is out there we have pieces of data when, you look at law enforcement across America, there's 18,000. Law enforcement, agencies all using different systems so, our big function. For the for the most part is trying to collect what.
Law-enforcement Data, already. Exists and bring that into our Center so what's the misperception, that, we. Have access to things like the fast track that we have access to cameras. All over the place there really aren't that many cameras, and there's a misperception of what the efficiency, is of cameras. Technology, alone doesn't solve any crimes it's combination of people analysts. And technology, but if you don't have all those pieces you can't really bring that data together efficiently, I think we, heard the the LA Sheriff's say, was well you know people are being have, cameras on all the times then a. Few years they're neither going to care and and I I've actually found that very disturbing, and, I don't know that we should accept that and we're going to throw in the towel and say well we have cameras on us so so, we don't have any any any, rights at all the thing we have to realize is that crime is not what most of us are doing most of the time most of the time we're just law-abiding, citizens, going about our business and, to be under surveillance all, the time has a chilling effect as we go, to the doctor, as we go to our churches or mosques as. We interact with our friends, or political, meetings and, when you see populations. That are receiving, the attention of. Extra. Policing, a lot of times people don't like it you know Oakland, didn't want the domain awareness program, New, York City was, had, a lot of opposition to the stop and frisk well, unlike Center that's a good point is is there an element of profiling, that's, necessary, here I'm not really and you know because, crime is often, it's random you know you you have no clue of where it's going to be or what cameras will be able to collect the information you need you, look at the Boston Marathon bombing, if those private cameras haven't been, operating, at that time, there's. A good possibility they never would have found out who committed that crime what's. The risk in this little put this to anybody of, the, wrong person, being fingered. As the, assailant, and that type of technology that they demonstrated, there or any of the type of technologies, that they have out there they, aren't the one thing that says this person is guilty and. It's up to you know the prosecutor, to look at the and say do we have enough to forward, the prosecution, it's up to a judge and a jury to decide where, does it go from there Jennifer or David what concerns do you have in that regard or one essence yeah well one of the things I think is really different is when you're collecting, information ahead, of time when, there's no crime we know that's been committed and nothing's happened and the government is just collecting, information just in case that's a big difference from when something happens, like the Boston Marathon bombing. And you go to information, that's in the hands of private parties that, government, gets sometimes with a warrant, sometimes, with other legal process and then starts to piece the case together we know someone's, done something we're, looking for that person but in that case you did have to watch everyone to look for the right person well, no because the bombing happened at a particular location, so then you get the cameras from that locations it wasn't that there was a plane that was flying over, all of Boston all of Miami all of Chicago all of New York and then we were just sort of looking through those pictures or keeping them just in case David.
What Is the difference in your mind between what we're talking about here with a law. Enforcement agency. Doing surveillance versus. Google, and Facebook. And, LinkedIn collecting, all this information you. Know with or without our knowledge, what's. The what's and they're using it to make sure yeah there's really no public purpose it's just the bottom line in that sense what's the difference well and I think the main difference is, that we have a different relationship with the government, and with law enforcement particular. Than, we do with our search engine and our relationship. With our government I think is one of not being watched by them all the time, what we do see with, Google and Yahoo and, and and service internet service providers, is at least the ability to try and control, it. Might require you to be a knowledgeable, consumer, to do so but to have some control, over, what. How, much of your information, is collecting what use is made of it and you also have the ability to opt out of that as well it's hard to opt out of law, enforcement the, internet, companies are using our information to market things to us the police are using information, to put us in jail yeah they actually like to disagree I mean our goal isn't to put people in jail but it is to protect, public safety and as. Far as the the gathering, of information what, we do as far as the aggregation, and follow-up. It also helps. Us to identify folks, that haven't been engaged in crime eliminating, folks that could, be potential, suspects, with the day that we've collected. You know me as a certain, as well I I don't need to be followed all day long and that's not the role long force it's not to follow folks all day long but, the technology, acts as a pointer system it doesn't, tell you that somebody committed, a crime specifically. It just points in that direction how, long is this data kept.
Photography. Visual. Collected, data automated. License plate readers it's. 12 months that's. What, the government. Code in. California. At least for visual data Mike, is there a different, standard, for this surveillance, and privacy. When. You're talking about say international, terrorism. Versus. Local, law enforcement where, you're looking for someone who snatched a purse there, are rules regarding, the way intelligences, collect the way information, is collected in the country and after September 11th there were folks that, actually wanted, to get rid of those restrictions, but. It was actually state, and local law enforcement the folks that I represent. That said no we need to keep this our role is Public, Safety and law enforcement is, to protect the public but also uphold, the Constitution, United States Jennifer what would you add to that I agree with the sentiment, unfortunately. I don't think that's the way our courts, and our investigators. Are actually, doing it there's no question, in my mind that it, law, enforcement, agencies sharing information properly can help solve crimes I think the hard question, is with something like cameras. You, have this ability. To, follow people around on the public streets traditionally. The Fourth Amendment didn't prohibit a single, police officer from following you but it was just infeasible, for everyone, to be followed all the time now, we have technology, that makes it possible for us to see where every, car or where every person or almost every person is like. Law, enforcement doesn't, have that capability to track people 24, hours a day seven days a week. You, know the technology, isn't quite there I mean there are things that in those in those videos and pictures and for, me even a person that has worked in the in the technology, field with folks that are designing things and whatever. The feature may be I don't, see that in my career, we know that local law enforcement is actually, has. The technological. Capability, of actually trapping tracking, mobile phone as. You walk around your mobile phone even if your phone is off we've. Talked a lot about the privacy, implications and, some of the risks, and, constitutional. Questions to what it's into the laws need to be updated I mean technology is changing so quickly is, it possible for the law to keep up yeah I mean I think it I'm a lawyer so I like, to believe it's possible for the law to keep up but we have a long way to go you. Know as the Fourth Amendment needs to catch up because you know what is our privacy in public spaces, when we have technology. That can monitor us, since, such a much greater extent we have this age of big data where, data analysis. Can put these pieces together, and find out so much more about us than any individual, piece we might you know give up or choose to share like Santa you were nodding when Jennifer was saying we need to update the laws I would. Agree I agree, I mean we definitely need to keep the laws up to speed on on, what we're doing but it's hard and it's not just what law enforcement is doing is what the criminal groups are doing with technology which is hard for law, enforcement. In. That realm, David. What should local communities, local governments. And citizens what should they be thinking about what questions should, they, be asking, well. I think a good question to ask really is what is the relationship between government and its citizenry, and, if it is and, to me a government really should be really hesitant, as an enter to relationship where it's just constantly, collecting information, I think it's very easy what I've seen you've seen with the NSA and you seen on the local level is that, having, the ability to collect information it seems innocuous and, it seems easy it, becomes difficult to to stop and Mike. Sent it from someone on the inside of this, kind of an operation or what questions do you ask of of the people who are overseeing, what you do you, know the hard part is that expectation, of privacy in public spaces, what. Is that and and, really, the the bigger part of this and something that I'm a big, advocate for is building. Communities of trust, actually having conversations, with communities, Jennifer, is is there enough transparency, to. Even know what what the right questions to ask are at this point in time we have almost no rules about how information is used or, disseminated. And how do we tell if it's worth it what are you know we need to keep track of abuses, keep track of.
Successes. In fighting. Crime and have a sense. Of you, know what, do we need to do where we can in, ants the public. Safety mission, without, over-policing. Lots of questions we just just, touched the surface thank, you all very much Mike Sena Jennifer, Granick David Green thanks a lot thank you as. Technology. Advances, the struggle to find balance between privacy and security will play out in unexpected. Ways it's. Clear the debate and discussion, will continue I'm. Thuy vu thanks. For joining us. Funding. For this program is provided by the Gruber, Family Foundation. And by. The members of KQED a. Co-production. Of KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting.