After several months of work, this morning the Council moved forward an update to the city’s ordinance regulating use of surveillance technology by SPD and other city departments.
What started out as a fairly simple task, extending the current rules beyond hardware to include software and web services, turned out to be a nearly intractable set of complex issues. In the end the ordinance’s sponsor, Council member Gonzalez, settled for addressing just a subset of the issues in what she referred to this morning as “phase one.”
Continue reading Surveillance technology ordinance headed to adoption on Monday
The City of Seattle’s parking enforcement division uses automated license plate readers to identify cars (and drivers) with multiple parking tickets so they can boot or impound the vehicles as necessary. SPD uses that same data to identify stolen cars, as well as those wanted in relation to specific criminal activities. Back in 2012, New York City took it further: they used cameras on street light poles to track people coming and going from mosques — an act that most people think stepped over the line of acceptable surveillance.
How the City of Seattle acquires and uses surveillance technology — and the data gleaned from it — was the topic of a Council hearing this morning, one of a series in the ongoing process of updating the city’s laws on surveillance.
Continue reading Council continues discussion of surveillance technologies
Wednesday afternoon in his Education, Equity and Governance Committee, Council President Bruce Harrell pushed the Seattle IT department to go farther and faster in investigating public Wi-Fi as an alternative to municipal broadband in key areas of the city.
Continue reading Harrell pushing for expanding public Wi-Fi in Seattle
This morning the City Auditor’s office presented its report on the NCIS billing system that Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities launched last September after running $34 million over budget and well over schedule.
Continue reading The City of Seattle sucks at IT development projects
This afternoon the Council approved an ordinance lifting restrictions on money budgeted for rolling out body-worn cameras to all Seattle Police Department officers.
Continue reading Council approves money for SPD body-worn cameras
Yesterday Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities finally disclosed last week’s privacy leak.
SEE UPDATE BELOW
Continue reading City finally discloses last week’s privacy bug (UPDATED)
Eight days ago, city employees discovered a second vulnerability in the new NCIS billing system for Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle City Light, which exposed customers’ private information. The city still has not publicly disclosed this incident, in violation of its own policy.
Continue reading City still covering up last week’s privacy leak
After 24 hours of radio silence, SeattleIT, Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities have finally admitted that they did in fact have another issue with their new NCIS billing system that caused some customers to see other customers’ bills, and led them to take their e-billing system offline.
Continue reading NCIS team finally admits it had another privacy issue
Today NCIS, the troubled new billing system for Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities, had another no good, very bad day.
SEE UPDATE BELOW
Continue reading NCIS billing system hits another problem (UPDATED)