Nice shop you’ve got there. Mind turning over your camera system to us?

NYPD threatens immigrant-owned shops with closure using what are sometimes questionable nuisance abatement claims, then uses its leverage to push for warrantless access to information on customers. “Most cases resulted in settlements, 333 of which allow the NYPD to conduct warrantless searches. In 102 cases, the owner agreed to install cameras that the NYPD can access upon request. Another 127 settlements require storeowners to use electronic card readers that store customers’ ID information, also available to the NYPD upon request.” [ProPublica, Radley Balko, TechDirt]


  • Would consumer protection laws require disclosure the the business’ transactions are reviewed by a third party agency, not for the purposes of extending credit or securing payment? And, should the cameras be tagged with the warning “Big Blue is watching you.”?

    • Probably not, and I think it highly likely that the NYPD would object if they did provide any notice to their customers. If consumer protection laws to require notice, the NYPD will make sure they get an exemption.