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Law zooms in on surveillance technology

Original post made on Jun 14, 2017

On Tuesday night, Palo Alto officials focused on a downside of high-tech: the difficulty of retaining privacy in a world of drones, body cameras and license-plate readers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 11:17 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2017 at 8:19 am

What amazes me is that it seems perfectly legal for individual homeowners, businesses, etc. having CCTV or video cameras pointed at the street, in stores, etc. but the City will not put up video cameras or CCTV in public places such as parking garages where crimes often occur.


Posted by reader
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 14, 2017 at 8:52 am

What about all the user tracking software that websites use?


Posted by Jeff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

For people confused between our tolerance for surveillance by private entities (homeowners, stores, etc.) versus government entities (police, etc.) I suggest you read the Constitution.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 14, 2017 at 11:20 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Menlo Park Fire Protection District established these policies over two years ago:


Menlo Park Fire Protection District
Fire Services Manual
Revised 1/15/2015 v3.2
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
370.1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The purpose of this policy is to establish safe, efficient and lawful operation of the Menlo Park
Fire Protection District (MPFD) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
370.2 DEFINITION:
a) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS): Consists of an unmanned aircraft
weighing less than 4.4 lbs., the command system, a secure control link, camera
and other related safety support equipment.
b) Unmanned Aircraft (UA): An aircraft that is intended to navigate in the air
without an on-board pilot.
c) UAS Flight Crewmember: An Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot, Observer, or
other persons assigned duties for a UAS for the purpose of flight.
d) Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot: A person exercising control over UA during
flight. The Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot is ultimately responsible for UAS
operation and solely responsible for the input of commands/piloting during flight.
The Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot will be qualified in the operation of the UAS
by successful completion of an approved training course. The Unmanned Aircraft
System Pilot must meet requirements established by the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) including possessing a valid second class or higher medical
certificate, passing the required knowledge tests and maintaining current
aeronautical knowledge. Pilots are authorized to evaluate and accept or decline any
mission or portion thereof due to safety concerns.
e) Certificate of Authorization (COA): Issued by the FAA and grants
permission to fly within specific boundaries and parameters. Training flights
cannot take place without a valid Training and Evaluation (T&E) COA and
missions cannot take place without a valid Operational or Emergency COA.
f) Observer: The Observer is responsible for the visual observation of the UA while inflight.
The Observer shall maintain a visual observation of the UA while in-flight and
alert the Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot of any conditions (obstructions, terrain,
structures, air traffic, weather, etc.) which affect the safety of flight.
Policy
370
ATTACHMENT A
The Observer is responsible for all aviation related communications required by the
FAA. The Observer shall stay in close proximity to the Unmanned Aircraft System
Pilot to instantly relay information. The Observer shall be certified in the operation of
the UAS by successful completion of an approved training course. The Observer
must meet requirements established by the FAA including possessing a valid second
class or higher medical certificate, passing the required knowledge tests and
maintaining current aeronautical knowledge.
370.3 POLICY
It is the MPFD’s policy that MPFD personnel trained in the use of the UAS to use UAS to
protect the lives and property of citizens and first responders in full compliance with all
applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to applicable State and Federal
Constitution and FAA regulations.
The use of a UAS can support first responders in emergency situations by providing an aerial
perspective which will enable first responders to detect dangers that could otherwise not be seen
and support incident commanders in tactical decision applications. The UAS can also be utilized
for approved training & evaluation missions, pre-emergency planning, public education,
disaster pre-planning and disaster deployments.
370.4 OVERVIEW
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 provides for the integration of civil
unmanned aircraft systems into national airspace by September 1, 2015. Existing federal law
requires the Administrator of the FAA to develop and implement operational and certification
requirements for the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace
system by December 31, 2015.
370.5 REQUEST AND AUTHORIZATION
MPFD will obtain a COA from the FAA in order to conduct operational, training and
evaluation missions, pre-fire planning, pre-emergency planning, public education, disaster
pre-planning and disaster deployments. Requests for UAS deployments will be made
through the Operations Chief, Training Chief, Battalion Chief or San Mateo County
Dispatch. Approval for requests will be determined by authorized chief officers from
MPFD. On approval, the on-duty Battalion Chief will request a UAS call-out.
Dispatch personnel receiving the request for a UAS call-out shall contact the MPFD on-duty
Battalion Chief with the available information regarding the request. The Battalion Chief will
gather the information pertaining to the request and contact the Unmanned Aircraft System
Pilot and notify him/her of the mission. The Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot will determine if
the UAS can be deployed safely and practically. If the request comes from an outside public
safety agency, the request will be directed to Dispatch at (650) 363-4963.
a) When the UAS is being flown, Unmanned Aircraft System Pilots shall take steps to
ensure the camera is focused on the areas necessary to the mission.
b) MPFD will maintain a website location and phone number for public input
to address citizens’ concerns and recommendations.
ATTACHMENT A
c) UAS use will be limited to the authorized missions described herein.
d) The UAS shall not be equipped with weapons.
e) The authorized missions for the MPFD UAS are:
1. In response to specific requests from local, state or federal fire authorities for fire
response and prevention.
2. In response to any transportation type emergencies as defined in Title 49 of the
Code of Federal Regulations.
3. Search and Rescue (SAR) missions as defined in California Government
Code Section 26614.
4. Structural collapse and building evaluations for rescue, safety and
occupancy.
5. In response to hazardous materials spills.
6. Disaster response and recovery to include natural or human caused
disasters including a full overview of a disaster area for post incident
analysis and documentation.
7. Public Education development & training videos & documentation.
8. Training missions as authorized by the Training COA.
9. Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) missions.
10. Any missions that deploy fire based tactical paramedics for on scene evaluation
and monitoring.
11. Public safety and life preservation missions to include barricaded suspects,
hostage situations, active shooters, apprehension of armed and dangerous and/or
violent fleeing suspects, and high-risk search warrants.
12. Post fire or incident investigation to assist with cause, origin and documentation.
370.6 PROCEDURES
a) UAS operation requires a COA.
b) A UAS shall only be operated by personnel, both pilots and crew members, who
have been trained and qualified in the operation of the system. All MPFD
personnel with UAS responsibilities, including chief officers, shall be provided
training in the policies and procedures governing UAS use.
c) All flights shall be approved in advance by the Operations Chief or his/her
designee (at least the rank of Chief Officer). UAS and all related equipment
ATTACHMENT A
shall be available and issued at MPFD Station 1 Battalion Chiefs Office or
Response Vehicle.
d) All flights shall be documented on the mission dispatch form designed for that
purpose and all flight time shall be accounted for on the form. The reason for
the flight, type of mission and name of the supervisor approving the operation
shall be documented.
e) The administration, safety policy, training requirements, general operating
procedures and pre/post flight actions are contained within the MPFD UAS
Operations Manual.
f) This will be a one year pilot program upon issuance of the Operational COA
from the FAA. All procedures, laws and regulations on UAS usage shall be
reviewed as follows: The MPFD Operations Chief and Training Chief shall
meet quarterly on the use of the UAS to include an audit review, flight
documentation review and provide a quarterly and annual report to the Fire
Chief.
g) All flight control settings will remain in FCC compliant mode.
h) All flights will be remain in GPS reception mode and comply with all FAA
flight restrictions near designated Class A & B airports and municipal airports.
i) In the extreme event manual mode is activated, all airport towers within 2 miles
of flight will be notified. An approval by the tower must be granted to operate
within the flight restriction areas.
370.7 DATA RETENTION AND PROCESSING
Upon completion of each UAS mission the recorded data shall be reviewed and
evaluated.
All retained data shall be maintained or destroyed pursuant to the MPFD
records retention policies and in compliance with applicable laws and
regulations.
370.7.1 PROTECTION OF RIGHTS AND PRIVACY CONCERNS:
UAS Commanders, Unmanned Aircraft System Pilots and Observers will
consider the protection of individual civil rights and the reasonable
expectation of privacy as a key component of any decision made to deploy
the UAS. Each Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot and Observer shall ensure
that operations of the UAS are consistent with local, state, and federal law.
2388108.1


Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2017 at 11:43 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

Transparency is great, go for it. But now let's get some cameras installed downtown to make up for the lack police. Start with the parking garages.


Posted by Barron Parker
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 14, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Why do people rob banks? Because that's where the money is.

Why is there so much property crime in Palo Alto? Because ... (yeah, you get it)

How do you reduce it? Only 1 way: raise the risk for the criminal of being caught, and raise it in a clear and obvious way. CCTV everywhere (just like in London).

Put it in the garages, on all the major streets. license readers in all police cars. Let the criminals know that Palo Alto is a poor choice for committing crimes.

OK, so that's all obvious. What is unfortunate are all the 4th amendment wackos who are so afraid of having their cars photographed that they're rather do ANYTHING to stop it, including giving criminals free reign over our city.

Some members of the City Council seems to have bought into this stupidity, and it has to stop. Get the cameras and the license readers. Allow smart high-tech retirees volunteer to help identify criminals after a crime has been committed. Catch the criminals and you stop the crime.


Posted by Good job
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 14, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Good job about the city being transparent about the surveillance technology used. Transparency does not equate to not using. In addition to body cameras on every patrol officer, we need license plate readers on all cop cars as well as CCTV cameras in high crime areas like the California Ave. garage, by CalTrain, etc...


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 15, 2017 at 10:55 am

"How do you reduce it? Only 1 way: raise the risk for the criminal of being caught, and raise it in a clear and obvious way. CCTV everywhere (just like in London)."

Certainly helped recently. (not)


Posted by Scotty the Boot
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 15, 2017 at 11:24 am

I'd rather have cameras everywhere then not. The constitution is an old document that is out dated and needs to be revised. Constitutionalist are as dangerous as bible thumpers.


Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2017 at 1:08 pm

As we walk around Target, Stanford Stores, Gyms, airports, banks, etc. cameras are everywhere. They are a deterrent and do help police after crimes have been committed. And yes, London Police use them all the time. In London they have been used successfully when the terrorists were not suicide plants or when they had been caught. The London Underground bombers were discovered by CCTV and arrested soon after.

We haven't had a major terrorist attack here unlike Europe since 9/11, but it would be naive to think one won't come. Having cameras in place will make a difference. In the meanwhile, our parking garages will be a lot safer when the bad guys know that they can be seen.


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm

@Resident - the studies on the effectiveness of CCTV cameras in public spaces have come back mixed. Some have show positive impact, others have not. It's the physical version of having NSA peek at your internet traffic. If you're ok with CCTVs, you could make the argument that it's ok for our government to spy on our communications as well, because they go over public networks.


Posted by Neilson Buchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Let's get all of these issues on the table and resolve them. Parking and traffic, especially in the University and California Avenue commercial cores, cannot be managed proactively without this technology that is proven and in use worldwide. Last night the Planning Commission plunged into this issue. Onward!


Posted by @ Neilson Buchanan
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2017 at 11:32 pm

< < arking and traffic, especially in the University and California Avenue commercial cores, cannot be managed proactively without this technology that is proven and in use worldwide.

Why is that?


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