DHS Testimony on Expectations of Privacy in Public Spaces

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Samuelson Clinic Director testified before Department of Homeland Security on expectations of privacy in public spaces.

Samuelson Clinic Director and Clinical Professor of Law Deirdre Mulligan testified before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee regarding expectations of privacy in public places. Professor Mulligan observed that public spaces support functions that democracies care about, that we are at a unique constitutional moment in which surveillance systems of unprecedented breadth are being implemented with very little guidance from the courts, and that public oversight and debate is needed about the circumstances and checks and balances under which public surveillance is needed. She recommended that: the Department of Homeland Security require potential recipients of DHS grants to conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment of video surveillance systems as a condition of receiving funds; public oversight and accountability be built into the decision about where and whether to install public surveillance systems; and that federal law be updated to address the use of advanced visual surveillance technology by the government.

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