Policy Allowing Law Enforcement Access To Private Cameras Approved


SAN FRANCISCO—The city of San Francisco announced on Tuesday, September 20, that they have approved a policy allowing law enforcement to be able to access private cameras and live feed without a search warrant. 

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 7 to 4 on the proposal to allow officers access to cameras owned by city residents and businesses who give police the OK to monitor them. 

The proposal has been met with criticism from several organizations including the ACLU and EFF stating that it has the potential to violate citizens’ rights by specifically targeting those already in marginalized groups. Mayor London Breed said in an earlier statement that the proposal, “will help police deal with urgent public safety events, as well as support criminal investigations around issues like violent crime, retail theft, and drug dealing.” She stated that they city faces a rising crime rate and that the bill will combat it. 

According to the measure, police will not have continuous access but will be able to access footage under certain criteria which would include times that a misdemeanor, property crime, or life-threatening emergency transpires. In the case an owner denies consent, police will be allowed to issue a warrant. The policedepartment will also be required to submit quarterly reports to track the program’s progress.

The San Francisco News reached out to Mayor Breed’s office for comment, but did not hear back before print.