Meeting Minutes from InspireSeattle Social on May 3, 2014

Can Surveillance Technologies Be Tamed?

Video surveillance cameras are far different from the technology of a few decades ago. They now allow remote control, with pan, tilt, and zoom features; the images obtained are digital, and can be combined with other technologies such as facial recognition, or optical character recognition. Drones are rapidly becoming available at low cost, in a variety of sizes—potentially allowing video, thermal imaging, and other sensing mechanisms to be routinely deployed in the air, perhaps unknown to people below. Automatic license plate readers have the capability to detect (and store in a geocoded, time-stamped manner) thousands of plates every hour. Cell phones can be used to track the movements of individuals. All of these technologies both have significant benefits and pose significant risks to privacy. This talk will examine these types of technologies, and discuss methods that can be used to minimize the risks while maintaining the benefits.

Guest Speaker:
Doug Klunder is Privacy Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. His original training is in Computer Science. He spent over 10 years in software development at Microsoft, where he was the lead developer for the first versions of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Money. He then shifted careers and received a J.D. degree from the University of Washington School of Law in 2002. He combines his technology and legal backgrounds in work on privacy issues for the ACLU. He concentrates on informational privacy (e.g., public records, data mining) and technological threats to privacy (e.g., biometrics and surveillance), as well as traditional constitutional search and seizure issues. Work includes legislative and rulemaking analysis and advocacy, litigation and other legal advocacy, and public education.

 Many thanks to Doug for the important discussion as well as Dave and Shamah for organizing and hosting this event!


Speaker: Doug Klunder

Dave Gamrath, host

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