Category Archives: Press Room

Recent press releases issued by Media Alliance. Sometimes we’ll post newspaper, radio and broadcast interviews here as well.

Vallejo police expand community surveillance with license plate readers

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By Andres Torres. Originally printed on KTVU.com

VALLEJO, Calif. – Vallejo Police Department on Tuesday announced a partnership with Atlanta-based startup, Flock Safety that expands surveillance using license plate readers (LPR) throughout Vallejo. 

The surveillance technology is being touted as a crime-fighting tool. Police have “strategically placed” 10 LPRs throughout the city at a cost of $2,496 a year each, which includes maintenance and installation. Police said there is at least one privatized installation in a neighborhood through a homeowners association. 

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California Voters Get Say on Data Privacy Law. But Is It Tough Enough?

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by Maria Dinezo. Originally published on Courthouse News.

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Two years ago, the California Legislature enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, a tough and expansive piece of legislation meant to mimic Europe’s broad data protections.

The fanfare was short-lived for data-privacy advocates, as lobbyists for various business interests rushed in to water down its protections. Hostile amendments that sought to carve out exemptions to the law were largely defeated after a grueling legislative session in 2019.

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Experts Split on Californias Prop 24

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by Patrick Dunne for Digital Privacy News

California residents will vote Tuesday on a divisive privacy initiative: Prop 24, also known as the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act.

Alastair Mactaggart, the San Francisco developer, wrote and financed Prop 24 to enhance or adjust provisions of his previous initiative, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA).

Prop 24 would require businesses to provide customers with an opt-out regarding the collection of their private data and would limit how that information is used and stored.

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California to Vote on Privacy Proposal in Midst of Heated Debate

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by Ken Silva with Global Data Review

Californians are set to vote on a new privacy law that would make sweeping changes to the CCPA regime. GDR has interviewed members from the campaigns supporting and opposing the proposal.

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which will appear as “Prop 24” on the state’s ballot on Tuesday, has made strange bedfellows, with both industry groups and some privacy advocates opposing the initiative. The former say more regulations will further burden the private sector, while the latter claim that the CPRA creates loopholes that will lead to further data exploitation.

But other privacy advocates, policy experts and lawyers support the measure. They are confident that Prop 24 will pass, and that it will make meaningful privacy enhancements – while also clarifying some existing ambiguities with the CCPA.

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Protest Facebook – Protect The Results November 4

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The Protest Facebook coalition organized a Protect the Results demonstration in front of Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on the afternoon of November 4th.

ABC press coverage: Protesters Demand Twitter and Facebook Take More Action Against Election Disinformation

KTVU press coverage: San Francisco Bay Area Protestors Push Back on Trump’s Election Interference

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Open Vallejo Podcast: Tiny Constables

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This Open Vallejo podcast focuses on the City of Vallejo’s purchase of a cell site simulator or stingray, a dangerous and expensive piece of surveillance equipment used to track the location of a cell phone by impersonating a cell phone tower.

Oakland Privacy, the Bay Area’s ant-surveillance coalition, sued the City of Vallejo to enforce state law and require the City to allow public comment and a City Council vote on the device’s usage policy.

MA ED Tracy Rosenberg is a contributor to this edition of the Open Vallejo podcast entitled “Tiny Constables.

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California Flags Alienated, Idealistic Kids of Color as Potential Violent Extremists

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By Ann Garrison for Black Agenda Report

The program deputizes teachers to spy on students and recruits social service agencies to assemble dossiers on them while providing mental health services.

“The state is is lipsticking the pig for federal agencies that rely on racist stereotyping.”

California’s “Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE)” program flags teenage kids “feeling alienated from their peers,” “having a strong sense of being troubled by injustice,” and suffering from “depression” as also having “tendencies to extremism” that should be closely monitored. And surprise surprise, these kids are disproportionately Black and Brown. The program deputizes teachers to spy on them and recruits social service agencies to assemble dossiers on them while providing mental health services.

I spoke to Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director of Media Alliance, about the program’s history and the coalition fighting it.

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What Cities Can Learn from the Nation’s Only Privacy Commission

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By Alan Greenblatt. Originally published in Governing

Perhaps no city cares about the privacy of its residents as much as Oakland.

Last year, the California city became one of just a handful around the country that have banned municipal use of facial recognition technology. That came on top of an earlier ordinance that put limits on surveillance technology.

Those laws were largely the handiwork of Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission, a citizen-led board that can review any and all city policies and regulations through a privacy lens. Other cities have privacy policies or staff in place, while a few have ad hoc groups to address particular issues, such as smart city policies. No other city has a standing group with such a broad charter.

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