No More Surprise NYPD Robots

Corinne Worthington is the Research Manager at the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.). Aaron Greenberg is a Research Intern at the S.T.O.P. and a graduate student in the bioethics program at Harvard Medical School. NYPD press announcement in Times Square, April 11, 2023. Source If your police department could spy on your backyard using drones, wouldn’t you want to know? What if it could track you in the subway using robots, or tag your car with a GPS locator? Isn’t it important to know how your police force can monitor you?  As it turns out, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) already can—and does—do all these things. And in fact, there’s a law called the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act that requires the NYPD to tell you about how it employs surveillance technologies. If you haven’t heard of those capabilities, there’s a reason: the NYPD has so far failed miserably to comply with the POST Act’s requirements.   With the NYPD’s history of shady practices and spending when it comes to spyware, the POST Act was supposed to provide public transparency regarding how New Yorkers were being surveilled and who had access to the data. By demanding policies for technology usage and data-sharing, as well as impact assessments, the law was intended to hold the NYPD to a standard of justice commensurate with the power of wielding such intrusive tools. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, in the three years since the POST Act was passed, the NYPD has both failed…No More Surprise NYPD Robots