A Little About Us:
Oakland Privacy is a citizen’s coalition that works regionally to defend the right to privacy and enhance public transparency and oversight regarding the use of surveillance techniques and equipment. We were instrumental in the creation of the first standing municipal citizens’ privacy advisory commission in the City of Oakland, and we have engaged in privacy enhancing legislative efforts with the Counties of Alameda and Santa Clara and several Northern California cities and regional entities.
As experts on municipal privacy reform, we have written use policies and impact reports for a variety of surveillance technologies, conducted research and investigations, and developed frameworks for the implementation of equipment with respect for civil rights, privacy protections and community control. SB-21, a bill currently under consideration in the California State Legislature, would bring similar surveillance equipment protocols to the entire state.
Oakland, following the unanimous recommendation of its municipal privacy commission, became (to the best of our knowledge) the first municipality in the United States to terminate a sitting law enforcement agreement between its police department and ICE.
Members of Oakland Privacy have sat on panels discussing surveillance technology use in forums sponsored by the California Department of Justice, RightsCon, Left Forum, HOPE Conference, Berkeley Law School, and the Library Freedom Project/Noisebridge, among others. Members Brian Hofer (Chair) and Lou Katz currently sit on the City of Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission.
Getting to Know Us:
If you’d like an introduction to what we do, here are a few resources:
This website, which has articles, documents and whatnot related to what we do:
Our next meeting announcement, on our website, which includes a short summary of projects we are working on and have worked on:
Our timeline, from our beginnings in the Summer of 2013. Also on our website:
You can reach us at
If you have basic questions (like what various acronyms mean, what a surveillance ordinance is, etc) please email us. (We have some acronyms defined here)
Here’s an FAQ about our surveillance regulation ordinance work:
If you’d like to make contact with us in more depth, are a reporter or similar, and/or want to speak with members of Oakland Privacy, please email us a request.
If you’d like to join our email list (several messages a day, some very technical in nature, links to articles about surveillance, action item discussions, etc), send a request.
We also have a quarterly newsletter mailing list. You might be reading this note from that list, but if you aren’t and you want to receive mail from that list, send us a request to just add you to the newsletter list.
If you’d like to come to our next meeting to check us out, please do! If you’d like to meet a few of us before the meeting (e.g., there’s a Peets a block away) we can likely arrange that. We deal in a lot of jargon and move at a fast past through our agenda, so a little introduction will likely be helpful so that you will be able to follow more easily. Send us a note.
Next meeting place/time: oaklandprivacy.org/next-meeting/