Facial Recognition and Privacy Workshop

Friday, March 29, 2019 - 7:30am - 5:00pm
1801 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 (Moot Court Room) [map]

Register Here


“Smart” or “connected” cities and the related phenomenon of “smart” policing and technical surveillance tools, including facial recognition, present a constellation of complex and evolving technological, social, political and legal issues. A small number of cities, counties and other government agencies have started to develop new laws, policies and citizen engagement processes to address the privacy and civil liberties concerns these new technologies pose.

Similarly, law enforcement and other agencies that deploy these technologies at the federal, state and local levels have developed an emerging set of policies and standards regarding the use of the use of these new tools and for analyzing the data they produce.

Both contexts share a common set of core issues that revolve around the critical need to translate a combination of legal, technical and ethical requirements into a working set of policies and procedures that government employees and law enforcement officials at all levels can apply easily “without access to a bevy of expert statisticians, privacy lawyers, or philosophers.”[1]

This Workshop brings together government officials, privacy and civil liberties advocates, and other experts to examine the privacy and civil liberties concerns raised by the use of facial recognition and other surveillance technologies and to examine existing models and emerging best practices for how communities can work with state and local government to thoughtfully address them.


Ginger Armbruster, Chief Privacy Officer, City of Seattle

As the City of Seattle’s Chief Privacy Officer, Ginger leads a team of privacy specialists in the execution of the City’s Privacy Program, following a principles-based approach to the City’s management of the public’s personal and sensitive information. Prior to this role, she worked for Microsoft on an international team of privacy specialists to resolve issues associated with multi-million-dollar marketing initiatives. Before moving into privacy, she spent the first 20 years of her career working in sales and marketing for Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Johnson & Johnson, as well as several medical technology startup companies.

Ginger completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Barnard College, Columbia University. As a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Scholarship for Service Program (CyberCorps), she earned her master’s degree in Infrastructure Planning and Management from the University of Washington in 2013, focusing on critical infrastructure cyber resiliency.

John Boyd, Assistant Director, Futures Identity, DHS

Terence Check, Attorney-Advisor and Deputy Ethics Official, National Protection and Programs Law Division, Office of General Counsel, DHS

Jennifer Coulson, Specialist, Digital Analysis and Identification, Michigan State Police

Jennifer Coulson has been with the Michigan State Police for close to two years. Prior to her service with the Michigan State Police she served as a Parole Agent with the Michigan Department of Corrections for 9 years. She currently works in the Statewide Network of Agency Photos under the Biometrics and Identification Division. She is a trained Digital Image Examiner with a specialty in facial comparison and identification and has conducted over 2,000 facial recognition searches.

Clare Garvie, Senior Associate, Center on Privacy and Technology, Georgetown Law

Brian Hofer, Chair, Oakland City Privacy Advisory Commission; Chair and Executive Director, Secure Justice

In January 2014, Brian Hofer learned that an Orwellian sounding $11 million-dollar city-wide surveillance system called the Domain Awareness Center was being planned for Oakland. Intended to aggregate data inputs from facial recognition software, 700 cameras, automated license plate readers, and ShotSpotter, a little sidebar to the Eastbay Express cover story about the project mentioned that a newly-formed Oakland Privacy Working Group had formed to oppose the plans and would meet the very next day. Brian showed up to see if he could help. Three months later on March 4, 2014, and in response to overwhelming community opposition to the planned project, the Oakland City Council voted to dramatically scale back the project, removed the surveillance equipment from the remaining portion, and created an ad hoc committee of citizens to start drafting privacy policies for the city.

In the three years since the Domain Awareness Center discussion, Brian and Oakland Privacy successfully fought for a permanent committee tasked with oversight of surveillance equipment; successfully introduced ordinances throughout the greater Bay Area at both the county and city level to implement significant surveillance equipment reforms, advised on and advocated for state legislation impacting the right to privacy and surveillance oversight, and coordinated with and advised groups around the country on how to implement reforms through legislation and policy writing.

After leaving Oakland Privacy, Brian formed Secure Justice with an all-star cast of activists, and began consulting with various cities across the country regarding citizen oversight and participation in monitoring surveillance equipment and data sharing, Smart City regulations, and various “sanctuary” supporting legislative projects.

Brian has presented on his work at conferences sponsored by Berkeley Law School, NYU Law School, Georgetown Law School, RightsCon, HOPE Conference, Noisebridge, and the California Department of Justice among others, and he has testified before various California state Senate and Assembly committees in support of privacy enhancing legislation.

Brenda Leong, Senior Counsel and Director of Strategy, Future of Privacy Forum

Joseph Mead, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies, Cleveland State University

Roxane Panarella, Assistant General Counsel, Privacy and Civil Liberties, FBI

Heather Patterson, Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission and Senior Researcher, Intel

Heather Patterson is a senior research scientist at Intel Labs, where she researches the ethics, politics, and social dynamics of emerging AI-centric technological systems. Her current focus is on designing transparency, privacy, and accountability into new technologies to better serve the interests of communities. She also serves as the Mayoral Representative on the City of Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission (PAC), is a member of San Jose's Privacy Advisory Task Force, and directs the Social Impacts department of IEEE Pervasive Computing.


Brian Ray, Professor of Law, Director, Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection Center, IOTC Cybersecurity Liaison, Cleveland-Marshall

Sameena Usman, Government Relations Coordinator, CAIR-SFBA

Sameena serves as Government Relations Coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  She advocates for legislation impacting civil rights, privacy protections, and an equitable society. In her meetings with Bay Area elected officials, she highlights issues facing the Muslim community, including hate incidences and civil right complaints received by the office. She actively works to build bridges with communities, conducts interfaith dialogue, educates youth and empowers the American Muslim community. Sameena has been interviewed by dozens of local, national, and international news outlets.

In addition to her work at CAIR-SFBA, Sameena was re-elected as an Assembly delegate for the California Democratic Party.  Sameena was awarded the Community Hero award from Assemblyman Kansen Chu and Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Leadership awards by Congressman Ro Khanna and then Assemblyman Wieckowski.

Leon Wilson, Chief of Digital Innovation and Chief Information Officer, Cleveland Foundation

Jonathan Witmer-Rich, Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Nicholas Zingale, Associate Professor, Director, Institute of Applied Phenomenology in Science and Technology, IOTC Public Liaison, Cleveland State University


7:30-8:15 Registration

8:15-8:30 Welcome

Lee Fisher, Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

8:30-8:45 John Boyd, Assistant Director, Futures Identity, DHS

8:45-10:00 Facial Recognition Introduction and Current Applications

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-10:30 Claire Garvie, Senior Associate, Center on Privacy and Technology, Georgetown Law

10:30-11:45 Privacy and Civil Liberties Concerns and Responses

11:45-12:30 Lunch

12:30-12:50 Oakland Overview

Brian Hofer, Chair, Oakland City Privacy Advisory Commission

12:50-1:10 Seattle Overview

Ginger Armbruster, Chief Privacy Officer, City of Seattle

1:10-2:30 Cities and Citizen Engagement: Creating Community Norms for Surveillance Technology Use and Implementing Policies

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-3:30 Legislation and Codes of Conduct

3:30-5:00 Reception

[1] Future of Privacy Forum, City of Seattle Open Data Risk Assessment (Jan. 2018).

CLE credit: 4 hours pending

Category: General

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