California’s program to alleviate rent debts — and prevent a wave of evictions in July — makes it tough for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents to request financial aid, community groups in San Francisco say. The way the system is designed prevents many people from applying, including those who live in informal housing arrangements, those who do not speak English and those who lack digital proficiency, according to staff at local organizations helping tenants and landlords file applications.
On Aug. 20, a state appeals court gave Uber and Lyft more time to argue their case that they shouldn’t have to abide by a California law that requires them to classify their drivers as employees, who would be entitled to unemployment, sick leave and other benefits mandated in California.
OPINION: Studying the surveillance technology in use by law enforcement in the Bay Area has led us to believe camera registries and networks are so prevalent that residents could rightly question whether their purpose is for surveillance instead of security. But uncovering how and when these cameras and other technologies are being used is not easy.
When a tech executive helped bankroll a private network of security cameras in San Francisco, it was touted as crime-fighting technology that would not be directly in the control of law enforcement. But a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital privacy advocacy group, shows that the San Francisco Police Department gained remote access to this private camera network for days at a time during protests in late May and early June. The privacy group says that access was a violation of San Francisco law. The camera network in question is managed by the Union Square Business Improvement District. Emails obtained by the foundation show that the group received, and approved, a request from SFPD to obtain remote access to the cameras for 48 hours on May 31.
At least two Bay Area startups are scrambling to address California’s testing shortage for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has unleashed a global pandemic and triggered economic freefall.
Oakland-based Renegade.bio, created just four weeks ago, has raced to obtain federal authorization and develop tests, while also formulating a plan to make it easier for people to access the tests. San Francisco-based Carbon Health, founded in 2015, started gearing up to offer COVID-19 testing in February, and created a free online symptom tracker to help more easily and quickly identify those infected with the virus.
UPDATE: How antimalarial drugs could be used
Scientists at Gladstone Institutes are using techniques developed in AIDS research to understand the life cycle of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Guest opinion: Low-income San Francisco seniors are facing a connectivity crisis as well as a health crisis. For most Bay Area residents coping with the mandate to shelter in place as the coronavirus spreads, home internet access, devices and software platforms enable us to work from home, communicate with family and friends, use telehealth services and stay informed.
As city officials this spring craft a “privacy-first policy” mandated by voter-approved Proposition B, supporters hope its lofty ambitions will start to become a reality this summer. Already there are signs that the city could move to the forefront of enforcing limits on data collection and reshaping our relationship with technology companies.
A Public Press examination of calculations that went into projections of homeless people helped versus jobs or companies lost from a tax increase offers a clearer picture of Proposition C’s potential impacts and the limitations of trying to accurately quantify the effects of the measure — if it withstands legal scrutiny.
Voter-approved Proposition B mandates that San Francisco create what supporters say would be the toughest data-protection policy of any U.S. city, and would go beyond California’s landmark Consumer Privacy Act. Now comes the hard part: writing the rules that will overcome legal, technical and enforcement challenges.