City Manager Submits Surveillance Technology Documents to City Council and the Public

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Pursuant to the Surveillance Technology Ordinance, Chapter 2.128 of the Cambridge Municipal Code (the “Ordinance”), Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is submitting the following to the City Council for review and discussion at the December 9, 2019 Council Meeting:
  • A Surveillance Use Policy (PDF), applicable to each City Department that possesses or uses Surveillance Technology or may do so in the future.  The Surveillance Use Policy must be approved by the City Solicitor and the City Manager and submitted by the City Manager to the City Council for review and approval.  
  • Surveillance Technology Impact Reports (PDF), which relate to specific Surveillance Technologies, must be submitted by the City Manager to the City Council before the City seeks funds for or acquires Surveillance Technology, uses Surveillance Technology in a way not previously approved by the Council, or enters into an agreement to share Surveillance Technology or the Surveillance Data it produces with a non-City entity.  
  • An Annual Surveillance Report (PDF), submitted by the City Manager to the City Council  The first Annual Surveillance Report is due to the Council by December 10, 2019.  In 2020, and annually thereafter, the Report is due by March 1.  
The Law Department, the City Manager’s Office, the Information Technology Department, the Police Department and all other City Departments have worked to complete these materials for the Council.

The Ordinance was adopted by the City Council on December 10, 2018, after extensive work between the City Council, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Cambridge residents, and City staff.  The Ordinance regulates Surveillance Technology that may be acquired or used by the City and balances the right to privacy with the need to promote and ensure safety and security.  The Ordinance also provides for informed public discussion about Surveillance Technologies and any impacts they may have on the civil rights and liberties of individuals, communities and groups in the City. 

View City Manager DePasquale’s letter to the City Council (PDF)

The City Council Meeting on December 9, 2019 begins at 5:30 p.m., in the Sullivan Chamber at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.

Questions about the submitted documents can be emailed to

Page was posted on 11/27/2019 4:38 PM
Page was last modified on 11/27/2019 4:38 PM
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