Boston Police Put A Hold on Media Monitoring Software

January 29, 2017
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Boston Police have decided not to go forward with any of the proposals submitted for social media monitoring software which has been opposed by various groups and individuals who believe the system is an invasion of privacy and transparency.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh reportedly wants community input before BPD again requests proposals for software to monitor social media.

Commissioner William B. Evans, apparently after reviewing the submitted proposals (RFPs) noted the technology that was presented exceeds the department’s needs but will continue the process of inspecting what is available and it meets the needs of the department while protecting public privacy.

The department, according to the Mayor, will not put the proposal out again but will have conversations beforehand.

There were three responses to the RFP for the technology that would scan posts on social media, identifying relationships between user and alert police anytime a monitored user posts from certain areas.

            The technology would have to operate within the framework of existing laws and policies to protect privacy, civil rights and civil liberties of the public according to a memo from the Boston Regional Intelligence Center to Commissioner Evans.