In 2019, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed the Acquisition of Surveillance Technology Ordinance banning the use of Facial Recognition Technology, with limited exceptions, and requiring public posting of current surveillance technologies in possession or use by city departments. The ordinance also requires the Committee on Information Technology (COIT) to help develop, review and approve policies for all surveillance technologies in possession or in use by each City department before sending their recommendations to the Board of Supervisors. 19B requires each policy to be approved by the COIT, City Department, the Mayor, the City Attorney and the Board of Supervisors.
This City Ordinance defines a “Surveillance Technology” as: A software, electronic device, system using an electronic device, or similar device used, designed, or primarily intended to collect, retain, process, or share audio, electronic, visual, location, thermal, biometric, olfactory or similar information specifically associated with, or capable or being associated with, any individual or group.
Below is the inventory list of Surveillance Technologies that SFPD uses or has in its possession. Each technology listed is required to have a policy approved through the processes outlined in SF Admin Code 19B. This page will be updated as each policy is approved.
Current Surveillance Technology Inventory
Analysis software (Genemapper, Verogen sequencing software, STRmix)
Andros Robotics w/ Camera and Audio
Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR)
Avatar Tactical Robot camera
Body Worn Cameras (Axon)
City Department Surveillance Cameras
Cogent ABIS (Automatic Biometric Identification System)
CommPort Tech (Under Vehicle Camera)
Dataminr First Alert
DataWorksPlus Digital Crime Scene system
DataWorksPlus Digital Photo Manager system
Fiber Optic Camera
FLIR Voyager cameras
Forensic Toolkit, or FTK
GPS Tracking Device
HNT Throw Phone / Camera
IP Cameras (Digital Cameras)
Life Tech 7500 or RT-PCR instruments
Life Technology 3500 and 3130xl Capillary Electrophoresis instruments
Lil Ears Microphone
Non-City Entity Drone Detection System
OpenText™ EnCase™ Forensic
Pen Link "PLX"
Qiagen EZ1 or EZ2 extraction robots
QinetiQ Robotics w/ Camera and Audio
Recon Scout camera
SeaFLIR II camera
Tactical Electronics Fiber Scope camera
Under Door Camera
SEC 19B.6(a) Annual Surveillance Reports
SEC 19B.7 Exigency Reports to the Board of Supervisors
- Exigency Report to Board of Supervisors Re. Interagency Operation and Unmanned Aerial Support (UAS/Drone) Involvement on January 5, 2021 (PDF)
- Exigency Report to Board of Supervisors Re. SFPD’s Compliance with S.F. Administrative Code 19B.7 following the Civil Unrest that occurred within San Francisco on May 30, 2020 and May 31, 2020 (PDF)
- Exigency Report to the Board of Supervisors Re. SFPD's Joint Search Operation and Unmanned Aerial Support (UAS/Drone) Involvement on June 7, 2021 (PDF)
- Exigency Report to the Board of Supervisors Re. Interagency Operation and Use of Unmanned Aerial Support on September 16, 2022 (PDF)
- Exigency Report to the Board of Supervisors Re. Interagency Operation and Use of Unmanned Aerial Support on September 20, 2022 (PDF)
If you have questions or concerns about any of the above-listed technologies or want to submit a written allegation of violation of 19B, please contact [email protected].