U.S. Senator: What Do Our Cars Know? And Who Do They Share that Information With?

U.S. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts has sent a much-needed letter to car manufacturers asking them to clarify a surprisingly hard question to answer: what data cars collect? Who has...

It’s Time to Oppose the New San Francisco Policing Ballot Measure

There will be a ballot initiative in San Francisco on surveillance and policing that, if approved, would greatly erode our privacy rights, endanger marginalized communities, and roll back the incredible...

VICTORY! California Department of Justice Declares Out-of-State Sharing of License Plate Data Unlawful

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has issued a legal interpretation and guidance for law enforcement agencies around the state that confirms what privacy advocates have been saying for years: It...

The State of Chihuahua Is Building a 20-Story Tower in Ciudad Juarez to Surveil 13 Cities–and Texas Will Also Be Watching

EFF Special Advisor Paul Tepper and EFF intern Michael Rubio contributed research to this report.

Cities Should Act NOW to Ban Predictive Policing...and Stop Using ShotSpotter, Too

Sound Thinking, the company behind ShotSpotter—an acoustic gunshot detection technology that is rife with problems—is reportedly buying Geolitica, the company behind PredPol, a predictive policing technology known to exacerbate inequalities...

EFF to Michigan Court: Governments Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Use a Drone to Spy on You Without a Warrant

Should the government have to get a warrant before using a drone to spy on your home and backyard? We think so, and in an amicus brief filed last Friday...

The Impending Privacy Threat of Self-Driving Cars

Within a few years, fully self-driving cars have gone from science fiction to a very common reality for people in San Francisco with other places in the U.S. also testing...

The FTC Forces Ring to Take User Privacy Seriously

Amazon’s surveillance doorbell company Ring has reached a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission which will require the company to pay $5.8 million over its inability to keep private...

Victory! New Jersey Court Rules Police Must Give Defendant the Facial Recognition Algorithms Used to Identify Him

In a victory for transparency in police use of facial recognition, a New Jersey appellate court today ruled that state prosecutors—who charged a man for armed robbery after the technology...

SFPD Obtained Live Access to Business Camera Network in Anticipation of Tyre Nichols Protest

New documents EFF received through public records requests have revealed that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) received live access to the hundreds of surveillance cameras that comprise the Union...

Neighborhood Watch Out: Cops Are Using Fusus to Incorporate Private Cameras Into Their Real-Time Surveillance Networks

Police have their sights set on every surveillance camera in every business, on every porch, in all the cities and counties of the country. Grocery store trips, walks down the...

Report: ICE and the Secret Service Conducted Illegal Surveillance of Cell Phones

The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General has released a troubling new report detailing how federal agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Secret...

How We Fought For and Won Access to Records About Predictive Policing in General Escobedo, Mexico

What started with a simple public records request became a journey into the absurd depths of Mexican bureaucracy. But we emerged victorious, and learned a lot about how a city...

California Law Says Electronic Search Data Must Be Posted Online. So Where Is It?

Update April 10, 2023: EFF is no longer hosting this data, due to regularly updated data now being available on OpenJustice.

Surveillance in San Francisco: 2022 in Review

We love San Francisco. It’s EFF’s home.  It’s often an example for other cities in regards to technology use and civil liberties. We helped make San Francisco the first city...

Police Drones and Robots: 2022 in Review

The rising tide of policing by robots and drones may seem relentless or even inevitable. But activism, legislative advocacy, and public outrage can do a lot to protect our safety...

VICTORY! San Francisco Bans Killer Robots…For Now

In a stunning 8-to-3 vote yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors banned the SFPD from using deadly force with remote-controlled robots. The Board also sent the killer robot policy...

44 Local Organizations Stand Against SFPD’s Killer Robots

EFF is announcing a letter signed by 44 community groups who stand united in opposition to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors authorizing the San Francisco Police Department to deploy...

Let Them Know: San Francisco Shouldn’t Arm Robots

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Nov. 29 voted 8 to 3 to approve on first reading a policy that would formally authorize the San Francisco Police Department to...

From Camera Towers to Spy Blimps, Border Researchers Now Can Use 65+ Open-licensed Images of Surveillance Tech from EFF

The U.S.-Mexico border is one of the most politicized technological spaces in the country, with leaders in both political parties supporting massive spending on border security and the so-called "Virtual...

Red Alert: The SFPD Want the Power to Kill with Robots

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote soon on a policy that would allow the San Francisco Police Department to use deadly force by arming its many robots. This...

EFF's Atlas of Surveillance Database Now Documents 10,000+ Police Tech Programs

This week, EFF's Atlas of Surveillance project hit a bittersweet milestone.

The Rise of the Police-Advertiser

In August, the Tulsa police department held a press conference about how its new Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs), a controversial piece of surveillance technology, was the policing equivalent of...

First Court in California Suppresses Evidence from Overbroad Geofence Warrant

A California trial court has held a geofence warrant issued to the San Francisco Police Department violated the Fourth Amendment and California’s landmark electronic communications privacy law, CalECPA. The court...

A National Lab Is Promoting a "Digital Police Officer" Fantasy for Law Enforcement and Border Control

Researchers at a national laboratory are forecasting a future where police and border agents are assisted by artificial intelligence, not as a software tool but as an autonomous partner capable...

Ban Government Use of Face Recognition In the UK

In 2015, Leicestershire Police scanned the faces of 90,000 individuals at a music festival in the UK and checked these images against a database of people suspected of crimes across...

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors Grants Police More Surveillance Powers

In a 4-7 vote, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a 15-month pilot program granting the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) more live surveillance powers. This was despite the objections...

Members of Congress Urge FTC to Investigate Fog Data Science

In the week since EFF and the Associated Press exposed how Fog Data Science purchases geolocation data on hundreds of millions of digital devices in the United States, and maps them...

San Francisco Police Must End Irresponsible Relationship with the Northern California Fusion Center

In yet another failure to follow the rules, the San Francisco Police Department is collaborating with the regional fusion center with nothing in writing—no agreements, no contracts, nothing— governing the...

What is Fog Data Science? Why is the Surveillance Company so Dangerous?

This article is part of EFF’s investigation of location data brokers and Fog Data Science. Be sure to check out our issue page on Location Data Brokers.

Police Are Still Abusing Investigative Exemptions to Shield Surveillance Tech, While Others Move Towards Transparency

How transparent are police about surveillance technology? It depends on where you look. When it comes to acceptable levels of secrecy around police tools, states have drawn their lines in...

Ring Reveals They Give Videos to Police Without User Consent or a Warrant

Amazon’s Ring devices are not just personal security cameras. They are also police cameras—whether you want them to be or not. The company now admits there are “emergency” instances when...

San Francisco Coalition Fights SFPD’s Proposal to Co-Opt Private Surveillance Cameras

A large coalition of community and civil rights organizations have sent a letter urging the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to oppose or significantly amend a San Francisco Police Department...

Senator Declares Amazon Ring's Audio Surveillance Capabilities "Threaten the Public"

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, a long-time critic of Amazon’s surveillance doorbell camera, Ring, has released a letter of concern and inquiry concerning the device’s audio capabilities. This is partially in response...

San Francisco Police Nailed for Violating Public Records Laws Regarding Face Recognition and Fusion Center Documents

By unanimous vote, San Francisco's public records appeals body ruled last night that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) violated state and local laws when it failed to respond adequately...

California Law Enforcement Now Needs Approval for Military-Grade Surveillance Equipment. We'll Be Watching.

California residents finally have a law designed to dismantle some of the secrecy around domestic acquisitions of warzone surveillance equipment.

Artificial Intelligence and Policing: Year in Review 2023

Machine learning, artificial intelligence, algorithmic decision making–regardless of what you call it, and there is hot debate over that, this technology has been touted as a supposed threat to humanity,...

Surveillance and the U.S.-Mexico Border: 2023 Year in Review

The U.S.-Mexico border continues to be one of the most politicized spaces in the country, with leaders in both political parties supporting massive spending on border security, including technological solutions...

EFF Joins Forces with 20+ Organizations in the Coalition #MigrarSinVigilancia

Today, EFF joins more than 25 civil society organizations to launch the Coalition #MigrarSinVigilancia ("To Migrate Without Surveillance"). The Latin American coalition’s aim is to oppose arbitrary and indiscriminate surveillance...

Is This the End of Geofence Warrants?

Google announced this week that it will be making several important changes to the way it handles users’ “Location History” data. These changes would appear to make it much more difficult—if...