6/3/23 - At the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations committee meeting on March 8th 2023, Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe asked what exemption from the City’s surveillance ordinance the kiosks fit into. Staff referred this question to the Deputy City Attorney present, who said questions about surveillance are deferred to the Mayor’s office, or something like that. To which, Montgomery Steppe says “That’s a new one.”
Staffer Christina Bibler then claimed the questions would be answered before it came to full council, including in a staff report, but to our knowledge, these questions have never been answered. View the full video (skip to 1:05:45). For a transcript of the exchange, click Read more.
Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe: I do just want to follow up on the surveillance issue. I have questions about this and the chair asked many of them, but I just want to know specifically . . .
the surveillance ordinance has certain exemptions that are embedded in the ordinance, where does this lie within those exemptions as far as the ordinance that we have passed as a council
Economic Development Director Christina Bibler: I think that might be best for our city attorney to address that question and answer. That goes to Kate or Marco.
Deputy City Attorney Kate Malcolm: Actually, we defer to the Mayor’s Office on any responses regarding surveillance.
Monica Montgomery Steppe: OK, that, that is a new one. OK, well, this is what I will do. I think that there are three of us on this committee. That the full council needs to see this. I have no issues necessarily with it going to the full council. But it took us three years to develop a process for surveillance, or anything that has the capability for surveillance and it’s not to hamper or slow down our progress as a city. But it is to make sure that the public knows what we’re spending money on, and what the capabilities of any technology, particularly surveillance technology that we bring in, what those capabilities are. So I certainly don’t want to give up on that, the day after we established the Privacy Advisory Board. We made plenty of exemptions in that ordinance, I just want to know which one this falls under. So with that, I will second this motion for the purposes of it moving to full council, but I will withhold my right to not support this based on getting that information. Ms. Bibler, do you have any follow-up?
Economic Development Director Christina Bibler: I just want to share, Councilmember Pro Tem that we’d be happy to provide that information, prior to going to full council. And included in the staff report as well.
Scenic San Diego Comment: Despite these assurances, there is no explanation in the City staff report for the June 6, 2023 City Council meeting what data the kiosks do collect, save or could gather for sale. The claim the kiosks do not contain “surveillance technology” as defined in the Municipal Code does not disclose what information the kiosks are capable of capturing.
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