NYPD Domain Awareness System Public Security Privacy Guidelines

The following privacy guidelines for the NYPD’s Domain Awareness System were released in April 2009.

Domain Awareness System Public Security Privacy Guidelines

  • 7 pages
  • April 2, 2009


In order to help ensure public safety and security and to detect, deter, and prevent potential terrorist activities, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has developed a networked Domain Awareness System. The Domain Awareness System not only supplies critical supplemental assistance to officers’ ongoing security and public safety efforts, but also enhances the collaborative nature of those efforts by leveraging the resources of the private sector and other City agencies. Given the ongoing threat of terrorist attack, the Domain Awareness System is an important part of the NYPD’s integrated approach to providing protection for those who work in, live in, and visit New York City.

The Public Security Privacy Guidelines (the Guidelines) establish policies and procedures to limit the authorized use of the Domain Awareness System and to provide for limited access to and proper disposition of stored data. To ensure that appropriate privacy protections exist, the NYPD has considered and consciously incorporated technical, operational, legal, policy, and oversight safeguards throughout the development life cycle of the Domain Awareness System.

Domain Awareness System: technology deployed in public spaces as part of the counterterrorism program of the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau, including: NYPD-owned and Stakeholder-owned closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) providing feeds into the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center; License Plate Readers (LPRs); and other domain awareness devices, as appropriate.

B. Statement of Purpose

The Domain Awareness System is a counterterrorism tool designed to:

• Facilitate the observation of pre-operational activity by terrorist organizations or their agents
• Aid in the detection of preparations to conduct terrorist attacks
• Deter terrorist attacks
• Provide a degree of common domain awareness for all Stakeholders
• Reduce incident response times
• Create a common technological infrastructure to support the integration of new security technology

C. Operation

The Domain Awareness System will be operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a professional manner and only in furtherance of legitimate law enforcement and public safety purposes.

As with all NYPD operations, no person will be targeted or monitored by the Domain Awareness System solely because of actual or perceived race, color, religion or creed, age, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, military status, or political affiliation or beliefs.

The Domain Awareness System will be used only to monitor public areas and public activities where no legally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists.

Facial recognition technology is not utilized by the Domain Awareness System.

All NYPD-owned CCTVs that are part of the Domain Awareness System will have accompanying signage, and the NYPD will recommend that signage accompany each Stakeholder-owned CCTV that is part of the Domain Awareness System.

In certain cases, technologies governed by the Guidelines may utilize or be integrated with systems and technologies deployed by other bureaus and divisions of the NYPD. In such cases, the application of the Guidelines will be controlled by separate memorandum from the Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism to the Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters.

D. Data Storage

Generally, data gathered through the use of the Domain Awareness System will be destroyed as a matter of course at the end of the relevant Pre-Archival Period; any decision to retain certain data possessing evidentiary or other value beyond the Pre-Archival Period must be approved and documented in writing by the Authorized Agent, or a designee approved in writing by the Authorized Agent.

• Video:
→ The Pre-Archival Period for Video is 30 days. For any decision to retain Video beyond the Pre-Archival Period, the Authorized Agent is the Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism. All Video from CCTVs will be recorded.

• Metadata:
→ The Pre-Archival Period for Metadata is five years. For any decision to retain Metadata beyond the Pre-Archival Period, the Authorized Agent is the Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters.

• LPR Data:
→ The Pre-Archival Period for LPR Data is five years. For any decision to retain LPR Data beyond the Pre-Archival Period, the Authorized Agent is the Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters.

• Environmental Data:
→ Environmental Data will be retained indefinitely.

After the conclusion of five years, Archival Data must be reviewed by the Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism and the Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters for continuing law enforcement or public safety value or legal necessity; all Archival Data determined not to have continuing law enforcement or public safety value or legal necessity will be destroyed as a matter of course.

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1 comment for “NYPD Domain Awareness System Public Security Privacy Guidelines

  1. July 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Have you heard of DHS Urban Telepresence?
    DHS attempts to integrate all camera sources from interior and exterior (with software like Tentacle) and WASS into one system that tracks you even when you enter buildings or lose overhead coverage. What is DHS Urban telepresence?

    “Primordial CO. will work with its contacts to see how Tentacle may fit into the Department of Homeland Security’s “Urban Telepresence” project which involves entity tracking/behavior detection on a large scale in an urban environment. We feel Tentacle could make a valuable contribution to that and other similar systems and it would provide Primordial with an additional opportunity to integrate with a system being used in a real-world environment.”
    “This final technical report describes the results of collaborative efforts by Primordial, intuVision, and All Hazards Management in conducting a phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort, titled AF103-032: Multi-camera real-time Feature Recognition, Extraction &Tagging Automation (McFRETA), and authored by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The goal of the effort was to design, develop, and demonstrate a scalable framework andsoftware application to enable tracking and feature extraction of uncooperative entities capture in multiple streaming sources and enabling near real-time forensic analysis of the extracted data. During the effort, Primordial worked with intuVision to identify key features to extract from live video feeds to include geographic location, entity type, and dominate colors of the entity. Primordial then built a graphical user interface to display avatars representing real world entities in a three dimensional virtual reality using the WorldWind SDK. To prove feasibility of the system, Primordial conducted 13 internal demonstrations to validate the results of the system.”

    “The objective of the McFRETA program is to develop an open and scalable framework/tool to perform automated feature recognition of multiple streaming sources and to extract metadata and make available for both ongoing operations and forensics. Sub-objectives were to (a) identify algorithms for feature recognition and extraction suitable for real time application,(b) identify suitable metadata tags that allow for human and machine devices search criteria, (c) devise a framework that would function in orchestration and event processing frameworks, and (d) design a prototype system. The ultimate objective is automated identification, tagging, and tracking of humans and vehicles from multiple real time video feeds. A framework and demonstration of how existing and new algorithms can be incorporated and tested is also sought, and of how an operator can develop queries and rules that assist assessment and execution. Scalability from tactical to regional areas of interest is required. The tool sought comprises definition of an open framework for integration of real-time feature recognition and extraction algorithms, generation of a stream of standardized metadata associated with the content source, and design and demonstration of an open, scalable system that supports queries and event/alert notification based on rule sets. Due to the heterogeneous nature of the content capture and storage systems as well as the operations (or forensics) systems, the integrating framework must be open and user friendly so as to enable queries in a broad manner. ”

    What is WIDE AREA PERSISTENT SURVEILLANCE ? (ARGUS, Gorgon stare, hawkeye II, angelfire, gigapixel camera, kestrel)

    Commercially Operated Persistent Surveillance Solution (COPSS). COPSS provides customers a commercial turnkey solution to Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) collection, processing and dissemination. A low-cost daily pricing model provides a rapid access, end-to-end commercial solution for public and private sector customers such as law enforcement, border patrol, federal emergency management officials and private companies. (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20111027006068/en/PIXIA-PV-Labs-partner-COPSS-%E2%80%93-%E2%80%98Your)

    The general public seems completely unaware that this capability exists or that DARPA military tech is now available for hire by anyone who wants to spy on entire cities or individuals without a warrant and for profit. This technology is the equivalent of having a private investigator follow you around with a video camera and document your every move!! It is a gross violation of privacy and an existential threat to a liberal democracy! PLEASE help raise awareness about this dangerous development. Thank you for all your efforts.

    TZ has been aggressively fighting to stop Wide Area Persistent Surveillance (WAPS) or Wide Are Motion Imagery (WAMI) from being used for domestic surveillance in the USA on platforms such as the Blue Devil and other drones. Recently, many of the Universities and private contractors involved in the development of ARGUS and the Gorgon Stare have gone public to reveal the Gigapixel camera and the fact that it is commercially available (for bird-watching? ;). Readers can now browse a WAMI data set and practice stalking civilians at http://release.pixia.com/wami-js-player/

    Even more dangerous for civil liberties are the PerSEAS (DARPA program) and PerMIATE software (Kitware, inc.) that make all vehicles and pedestrians movements automatically searchable via converting all movement into “tracklets” or chronographs that generate comprehensive geo-tagged location data as well as 24/7 drone coverage. This software can even track pedestrians in them WAMI data (http://www.isvc.net/Asari.pdf)

    Now even CORPORATIONS will have the power to 24/7 stalk citizens as DRAGNET AUTOMATIC COMPUTER TRACKING can be applied to entire cities! PIXIA Inc. has just announced the COPSS program and released its HIPER STARE demo for COMMERCIAL and LAW ENFORCEMENT use. If the idea of local police having this capability is frightening, imagine now that Corporations like the News of the World and Rupert Murdock with able access to this data and abusing it for political influence.

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