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Newsom Signs Speed Camera, Automated Decision System Bills

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed several bills of interest to those in the technology sector, tightening oversight of high-risk automated decision systems and authorizing a pilot of automated cameras targeting speeders in six cities.

California Capitol building against a blue sky dotted with gray and white clouds.
With about a day to spare, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday finished signing — and vetoing — hundreds of bills approved by legislators, several with deep significance to IT vendors.

As previously reported, California’s chief executive had through Saturday to sign or veto bills that lawmakers had passed out of the state Assembly and Senate and sent to his desk. The Sacramento Bee reported Newsom signed 890 bills this session and vetoed 156 — slightly fewer than he signed in 2022. Here are several notable laws that passed muster with the governor:

  • Assembly Bill 302, from Assemblymember Christopher M. Ward, D-San Diego, focuses on an inventory of “high-risk automated decision systems.” It requires the California Department of Technology (CDT) to work with “other interagency bodies” to do, by Sept. 1, 2024, a comprehensive inventory of all high-risk automated decision systems that have been proposed, are in development or procurement, or are being used, developed or procured by state agencies. The inventory will have to have a description of the categories of data and personal information the automated decision system uses to make its decisions. CDT will have to report on the inventory by Jan. 1, 2025, and annually thereafter, to legislative committees. The bill defines a high-risk automated decision system as “an automated decision system that is used to assist or replace human discretionary decisions that have a legal or similarly significant effect, including decisions that materially impact access to, or approval for, housing or accommodations, education, employment, credit, health care, and criminal justice.” Newsom signed the bill Friday.
  • AB 645, from Assemblymember Laura Friedman, D-Burbank, targets speeders in six major cities. It enacts a pilot program until Jan. 1, 2032, in Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Glendale, Long Beach and San Francisco, letting them bring automated cameras to bear on reckless drivers. Local governments that take part will have to adopt a Speed Safety System Use Policy and a Speed Safety System Impact Report before implementation, and they’ll need to do a public information campaign of at least 30 days before starting the pilot, informing residents when and where the system would be used. They’ll also have to give warning notices instead of violations during the pilot’s first 60 days. Participating cities will need to have uniform guidelines for processing and storage of confidential information and must make confidential all photographic or administrative records — not including data on the number of violations issued or the speeds for which they were issued. Recorded violations would be subject only to “provided civil penalties,” per the bill, and a “diversion program for indigent speed safety system violation recipients” would have to be created. Participants would also have to turn in a report evaluating the new system’s impact on street safety and its economic impact on the communities where it’s utilized.
  • AB 965, from Assemblymember Juan Carrillo, D-Palmdale, streamlines broadband permitting. The bill generally requires local agencies — cities, counties, charter cities, special districts, public-owned utilities and consolidated city-counties — to do batch broadband permit processing when they receive two or more broadband permit applications for essentially similar broadband project sites submitted simultaneously by the same applicant, within a reasonable time. If that doesn’t happen, the bill requires all those permits “be deemed approved.” The bill does authorize locals to set “reasonable limits” on the number of broadband project sites that can be grouped into a single permit for batch processing, but allows that locals can only remove a site from grouping on a single permit to expedite approval of other similar sites or upon agreement with the applicant. The bill also stipulates that its findings “address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair” and therefore apply to all cities including charter cities.
  • State Senate Bill 296, from state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, focuses on the images and video collected by in-vehicle cameras. It requires car makers whose vehicles have one or more in-vehicle cameras to disclose that, and compels dealers to do much the same. The bill also bans images or videos collected by in-vehicle cameras from being used in ads or sold to or shared with third parties. Recordings from in-vehicle cameras also can’t be kept anywhere but in the vehicle itself, or be downloaded, retrieved, or accessed by anyone or anything other than the user without prior consent — unless the images or videos are accessed for a service or repair. Exceptions include complying with lawful subpoenas, court orders, search warrants or preservation requests. The bill also bars people or entities from making manufacturers build in camera features that would let law enforcement monitor images.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.