Members of the New York City Council voted June 18 to enact a bill, called the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act, that will require the Police Department to disclose how it uses technology to surveil the public.
A commitee report states over the last several years, there has been growing concern regarding law enforcement’s acquisition and use of new and invasive surveillance technology. Specific technologies named include military grade X-Ray vans, license plate readers, cell site simulators that can capture cell phone information from surrounding cell phone users, and facial recognition technology. Drones would also fall into this category.
"At the local level, there is little to no public comment or legislative input in the acquisition and use of these technologies. Law enforcement’s use of such technologies is only revealed through litigation, if at all. Privacy rights advocates have testified previously before the Council that there is a need for greater police transparency regarding the use of surveillance technology," according to the report.
The NYPD has opposed the bill, saying it would endanger covert officers by requiring the department to disclose surveillance capabilities on its website.
It passed by a vote of 44 to six, according to CNBC.