SF Entertainment Commission Says Attending Any Gathering Of 100 Or More People Means You Lose All Privacy Rights

from the how-about-that... dept

Jim Harper points out some ridiculous rules being considered by the San Francisco Entertainment Commission concerning any event that would exceed 100 people. The two key rules:

3. All occupants of the premises shall be ID Scanned (including patrons, promoters, and performers, etc.). ID scanning data shall be maintained on a data storage system for no less than 15 days and shall be made available to local law enforcement upon request.

4. High visibility cameras shall be located at each entrance and exit point of the premises. Said cameras shall maintain a recorded data base for no less than fifteen (15 days) and made available to local law enforcement upon request.

As Harper notes:

The First Amendment right to peaceably assemble takes a big step back when your identity data and appearance are captured for law enforcement to use at whim simply because you showed up.

Of course, this is similar to data retention rules being pushed on online service providers. The reasoning is basically because law enforcement wants it. However, there are all sorts of things that law enforcement wants but which it can’t get because it violates our privacy. That’s what the 4th Amendment is supposed to be about. But here we have the SF Entertainment Commission pushing rules that suggest that attending an event that has more than 100 people means you’ve automatically agreed to give up private info to law enforcement.

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Comments on “SF Entertainment Commission Says Attending Any Gathering Of 100 Or More People Means You Lose All Privacy Rights”

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Michael Kohne says:

Internet vs. real life

‘They’ usually justify on-line invasion of privacy with the mantra ‘but it’s a computer – it’s DIFFERENT’ (think of a 4 year old’s whine on that last word).

I seriously doubt that this rule would pass the laugh test in front of any judge – it’s a clear abridgment of the right to assemble with who we want, when we want. Hopefully the SFEC’s lawyers explain that this won’t stand in court and they don’t adopt it.

anymouse (profile) says:

Re: The future.

I say everyone comes with one of these T-Shirts:


I’m sure we could get one that replaces Father with Freedom…. it would be much more fitting…

Now if everyone was wearing one of these…


All the better to make the point… but they still wouldn’t get it…

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Why not just implant everyone with RFID chips and require all property owners to install RFID recorders every 20 feet. Better yet, skip the recorders; we’ll send the data directly to the government. Microphones should be added to the recording stations so that we can catch any prohibited speech, and so that we can charge anyone listening to music a performance tax.

John Doe says:

The 4th ammendment disappeard long ago

When We the People started allowing the police to do license checks we gave up our 4th amendment rights. Then along came the Patriot Act. In fact, my 4th amendment rights were violated twice in one weekend. First I had my fishing license checked while I was trout fishing and the next day I had my driver’s license checked in a road block. If we don’t start fighting now, we will lose the rest of our rights.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: The 4th ammendment disappeard long ago

Agreed. If you are fishing on public land, the game warden, ranger, police etc have every right to check for a valid fishing license. You may not like it, but that is what you signed up for when you applied for it.

It is also illegal to drive without a valid license. Police are authorized to enforce that law. They can use routine traffic stops and documented road blocks to do so.

Neither case is a violation of privacy rights.

Now this case where they require people who are exercising their 1st amendment right to peaceably assemble to show ID and store that information in a database is a violation of our rights.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re: The 4th ammendment disappeard long ago

“Police are authorized to enforce that law.”

Are you two serious? It is unreasonable search. They have absolutely no probably cause to believe that I am fishing or driving without a license.

Police are authorized to enforce every law yet they aren’t allowed to search your house are they? Jeez, it is no wonder we have lost our 4th amendment right and are close to losing others. Sheeple like you are handing it over with a big smile on your face.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The 4th ammendment disappeard long ago

It is also illegal to drive without a valid license.

I do not know where you are but in most of the US it is NOT illegal to drive without a license. It is illegal to drive on public roads with out a license. Big difference. Also in most states a operator’s license is not required for farm equipment and construction equipment which is another form of driving.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

So any time people gather together to work and there are more than 100 employees at work, it’s a violation.

Of course it doesn’t include the corporations and the government, the law doesn’t apply to them like it applies to everyone else. The laws are for the rich by the rich and any attempts for average citizens to gather and possibly influence the legislative process must be closely monitored by the rich.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

But wait (Cake and eating again)

But little mikee, don’t you also claim that by stepping out in public anyone has the right to photograph you and do anything they want?

Hell according to you, I don’t even have the right to keep pictures of my own property off the net.

So what the hell is the difference between anyone doing anything they want with your picture and your being recorded and IDed in PUBLIC?????

FarSide (profile) says:

Re: Re: But wait (Cake and eating again)

I find it amazing that each time something like this is mentioned, there’s always a handful of people who can’t understand this difference.

I would add that there is also a big difference between the police having on-demand private data, and having to get a court to issue a warrant or subpoena to gather data from the people who did take those public pictures legally.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: But wait (Cake and eating again)

From the write up here on Techdirt, it seems the law as written requests the videos be available by law enforcement request.
To me, that means they wouldn’t have to bother getting a warrant to demand the video of any event – a simple “turn over the tapes” from any officer would suffice.
That’s an enormous difference of burdens.

ChrisB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: But wait (Cake and eating again)

> handful of people who can’t understand this difference

I usually don’t agree with M.T., but I can’t see the difference either. You talk as if it is self evident. Sure, the ID scanning is weird, but videotaping the event? Anyone can video tape public events. The police do it all the time.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 But wait (Cake and eating again)

The difference is self-evident. You go out in public and you may be filmed. Whoever it is that films you may or may not turn over those tapes to police if the police ask for it. The filmer may even be part of the police. This law states that you must be filmed, the film must be kept, and the film must be turned over to the police. You do know the difference between may and must right?

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Re: Re: But wait (Cake and eating again)

You ASSUME that any of these places would make Law Enforcement actually GET a Warrant for the information. Most won’t because either A) they don’t understand the law, bor B) They don’t want the hassles or expenses.

Most businesses won’t hassle with asking for a warrant for things like this because once they receive a legal papers they then end up turning them over to their lawyers for review.

Most if asked today just turn over the tapes anyway, no need for anything more than a simple introduction, display of badge and ask please give us the video tapes for xyz date.

But until you fools stop fighting for the right to take and do whatever you want with my pictures, I am gonna keep supporting your foolish asses being video taped and made available to law enforcement.

You won’t have your freedom to take my privacy away while maintaining yours. Care to compromise?

Any Mouse (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: But wait (Cake and eating again)

But, little michi, does that mean we all have to wear blinders and not look at anyone while we’re outside, too? Why the fuck should I have to get your permission to incidentally take your picture? If you get in my way, then your ass is on film. Not my problem. If you’ve got a problem with that, then you have a possible neurosis that should be medicated.

sumquy (profile) says:

Re: Re: But wait (Cake and eating again)

“Please quit the name calling . It’s really irritating and doesn’t do your credibility any good whatsoever. You may think you’re mocking Mike – but actually you just revealing your own childish state of mind.”

in comparison to what? your post? i don’t particularly care (within limits) what a commenter chooses to call little mikee, but i do take offense at anonymous cowards who assume the right to determine what is and what is not a “good” post.

if you don’t like a post then either ignore it or refute it, but i don’t think your attempt to silence another commenter is going to go over well here. it’s usually the type of thing we’re complaining about in our comments.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: But wait (Cake and eating again)

if you don’t like a post then either ignore it or refute it

Refute the phrase “little mikee”? What?

i don’t think your attempt to silence another commenter is going to go over well here.

Who’s trying to silencing who? Did you respond to the wrong post?

AC: “Using that silly term cheapens your argument.”

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: But wait (Cake and eating again)

but i do take offense at anonymous cowards who assume the right to determine what is and what is not a “good” post.

Actually it was me – accidentally not logged in.
I wasn’t trying to silence the other commenter – just giving some advice. I don’t actually think the remainder of his comments are completely worthless so he would be better off being a little more civil towards Mike.

Bengie says:


It would be so much simpler if we just made it treason for any government person to pass a law or to generally violate one’s constitutional rights, including police officers following orders.

Instead of officials blindly following rules, make them know and understand the constitution and at least know those few basic laws.

jenningsthecat (profile) says:

"Papers, please!"

If this plan comes into being, it really does seem to be a huge step in the direction of having checkpoints throughout our cities, manned by armed guards, and with a ‘trip downtown’ for anyone whose documentation isn’t in order.

We need to get serious about shaking off this siege mentality our society has bought into, before our freedom disappears entirely.

Ed Allen says:

Does this include sports events ?

I can imagine what a circus the recording and checking of thousands of IDs at 49ers game would be.

So if they are “exempt” I would imagine getting this tossed out would become fairly easy and if not the entire world could point out to SF citizens how stupid their politicians are.

Any politician supporting this would know instantly that this is a career ender.

Thomas (profile) says:


Just picture them trying to get IDs from everyone going to a movie. And what about children who have no ID? Are we going to require 3 year olds to have a scannable ID?

Law Enforcement in the U.S. is trying really hard to move us to a controlled police state where you have to show scannable ID every time you do something and produce it any time a law enforcement officer wants it. Walking down the street? Produce ID or go to jail. Going into church (or mosque)? Produce ID so we can find out if you are a terrorist.

jakerome (profile) says:

By all means, mock away and work to stop this. But follow the link, read the source material and realize that these rules haven’t been proposed by the Entertainment Commission. Instead, “these rules may cover the proposed permit conditions, summarized below, presented by the San Francisco Police Department for consideration by the Entertainment Commission.

So it’s the police department’s wish list. Probably not unlike wish lists that they draw up every day. Thankfully, police don’t make the laws, they only enforce them.

If adopted, it’s a complete joke. But right now, it’s nothing more than a police department’s attempt to move closer to a police state.

The Devil's Coachman (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And your generation’s net contribution to the advancement of society was……………….? Yeah, I knew that, and so does everyone else. Your turn to start dying will come soon enough, and will likely be applauded by your own children. Hell, by then, they may also be giving you some “assistance”, if you know what I mean. What generation are you anyway? Let me guess. The Generalization Generation? Sounds about right to me.

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