You can read more about EFF’s analysis of the policy here, but these are the basics:
- The policy has some weaknesses—it could have restricted use of the DAC more than it does, and it isn't a cure-all for racial profiling or other outstanding issues with law enforcement in Oakland.
- The private right of action, which makes it easier for anyone to sue over violations of the policy, as well as the criminal consequences in the policy, are crucial to give the policy any real teeth. The City Council must pass an ordinance to give these pieces of the policy effect, and the PSC should recommend that it do so.
- Changing the city’s whistleblower ordinance so that anyone, not just employees, can report abuse, and to increase the number of ways that whistleblowers can report.
- Passing a new surveillance equipment ordinance that would require “Informed public debate about any surveillance technology proposal prior to acquisition or pursuing funding,” which EFF and ACLU strongly recommend as law enforcement use of surveillance technology continues to spread. This is aimed at ensuring that situations like the last-minute, secretive purchase of a stingray in Santa Clara County don’t happen in Oakland.
For Oakland residents, this is a unique chance to push for city policy that reflects your values. In addition to commenting online, the PSC meeting on April 14 is a good way to express your thoughts on the policy and additional recommendations as well. After the PSC meeting, the full City Council will consider the policy. We’ll continue to provide updates and reminders of these dates as the policy moves.