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California Agency Is Hiding Uber and Lyft Accident Reports

The number of ride-hailing accidents is rising as the services boom. But the industry has hidden safety records — with help from its chief regulator. 1. Footnote 42

Around midnight on March 13, 2016, Robert Robinson and his wife, Ruth, used the Uber app to hail a ride to their home at the edge of Nob Hill. Uber driver Baher Tamim saw their request flash onto the screen of his device and swiftly picked them up in his white 2015 Toyota Corolla.


BART’s Proposed Ban on Panhandling, Performing Slammed as Unconstitutional

A proposal to ban panhandling and performing on BART is slated to go before the BART board of directors in October. When it heard about the potential ban, the ACLU told the board that such a law would be a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.  Abre’ Conner, a staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, addressed issues of free speech and, in particular, how they affect homeless people. Conner details how such a ban would unlawfully restriction this constitutional right. 
“It’s a good opportunity for BART to remember that they are a government entity — that does not isolate them or insulate them from having to adhere to people’s free speech rights.” — Abre’ Conner, ACLU Foundation of Northern California staff attorney


Why Privacy Needs All of Us

One American city has gone further than any other in creating a workable solution to the current inadequacy of surveillance law: Oakland, which has pushed a pro-privacy public policy along an unprecedented path. Its Privacy Advisory Commission acts as a meaningful check on city agencies — most often, police — that want to acquire any kind of surveillance technology.


Minority Challengers Wake Up Normally Sleepy Superior Court Races

Five men and women of color are challenging four incumbent judges on the state Superior Court in San Francisco. The insurgents — four of whom are public defenders — say the veteran jurists are vestiges of a legal system that punishes minorities disproportionately. The candidates faced off May 5 at a forum focused on African-American issues, and sparks flew. Second of two articles.