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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 15-2006




[ 52 PA. CODE CHS. 1017 AND 1021 ]

Image Retention and Use

[45 Pa.B. 6596]
[Saturday, November 14, 2015]

 The Philadelphia Parking Authority (Authority), on June 25, 2015, adopted a final rulemaking order to clarify retention and use procedures related to images captured by a taxicab safety camera system.

Philadelphia Taxicab and Limousine Regulations Image Retention and Use; Doc. No. 126-10

Final Rulemaking Order

By the Authority:

 The Authority is the sole regulator of all taxicab and limousine service in Philadelphia.1 In furtherance of those regulatory functions, the Authority issued a proposed regulation at this docket number on August 27, 2014. The initial public comment period for this rulemaking proceeding concluded on December 15, 2014, without receipt of comments. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) submitted its comments on January 14, 2015. The Authority has completed its review of the comments and now issues the final-form regulation.

Purpose of the Final-Form Regulation

 All taxicabs in Philadelphia will be equipped with safety cameras. Those cameras will capture images related to taxicab service to deter crimes against drivers, assist in the investigation of alleged crimes and regulatory violations and bad behavior in general. In most cases, images recorded by these safety cameras will be stored locally and overwritten on a scheduled basis. The local images will be secure within a hard drive or ''black box'' in the taxicab. A black box is accessible only by the Authority's Taxicab and Limousine Division Enforcement Department.

 While the current regulation requires certain images from a taxicab's safety camera to be transmitted to both the Authority and the taxicab's dispatcher to assist in law enforcement response times and investigations, the Authority has approved a proposed regulation (Docket No. 126-12), which will eliminate that transmission require-ment. The Authority has also granted the taxicab industry a waiver from compliance with that transmission requirement, pending final approval of regulation 126-12.

 The proposed regulation establishes requirements related to the limited retention of safety cameras images when physically accessed by the Enforcement Department. The regulation also clarifies the scenarios in which the Authority will access a safety camera's stored images.

B. The regulation

 We propose amending the proposed regulatory language to provide guidance and limitations upon the use and retention of images captured by safety camera systems and to prohibit the inappropriate activation of the taxicab distress button, as follows:


 The Authority has reviewed IRRC's comment to the proposed regulation and has modified the proposed regulation in response and otherwise, as follows. There were no public comments.

§ 1017.78. Use of Captured images.

 Section 1017.78 of the final-form regulation has been amended to delete all references to dispatchers, which constituted a significant portion of the regulation. The final-form regulation does not provide for a scenario in which the dispatcher will have access to or ever come into possession of any image recorded by a safety camera.

Subsection (b). This subsection has been amended to add reference to subsection (e), which also provides for the release of captured images.

Subsection (c). This subsection has been amended to identify the proposed language as paragraph (1) and to add new language under paragraph (2). Because the final-form regulation no longer provides for a system that transmits safety camera images from the taxicab to anyone, the only way to view images will be through physical access to the black box, which requires an encrypted access key. The restriction in the proposed regulation limiting access to the black box to the Authority's Enforcement Department has not changed.

 Paragraph (2) establishes limitations upon access to images retained on a taxicab's black box. Access will be limited to scenarios involving a court order, a request from a law enforcement agency or an active administrative investigation when written authorization to access the black box has been provided by the Manager of the Enforcement Department or Trial Counsel. This limitation upon the Authority's access to images on the black box will create a record of instances where such access is necessary and clearly prohibits random review of stored images by anyone, including the Authority.

Subsection (e). IRRC questioned when images released to law enforcement will be deleted by the Authority. Preliminarily, the proposed regulation provided that every image recovered by the Authority must be deleted 31 days from the date first obtained, unless an enumerated reason necessitated retention existed. That language has been retained in the final-form regulation.

 The final-form regulation includes new paragraphs numbered (3) and (4). These paragraphs provide that images excluded from deletion pursuant to the preceding language in this subsection will be deleted within 1 year of the final disposition of the related administrative or criminal proceeding. This language addresses the fact that these matters may remain active in the courts or before other tribunals long after the 31 day deletion period, but also creates a definitive end date for retention.

 Paragraph (4) provides that images connected to a successful criminal prosecution or finding of administrative liability may be retained for up to 5 years or longer if good cause is found by a presiding officer in the Adjudication Department after notice to the relevant party. The presiding officer's decision is subject to appeal as provided in 52 Pa. Code §§ 1005.184 and 1005.211 (relating to authority of presiding officer; and exceptions to recommended decisions).

 Images subject to this heightened retention duration will not be evidence to a potential bad act, but evidence used to prove that a bad act actually did occur. The images will have already been publicly displayed in a court of law or in an administrative hearing in open courtrooms, released to private defense attorneys and subject to media publication. For these reasons, we find that privacy concerns related to these images will nearly always be unwarranted, although the Authority will continually be bound to hold these images in a confidential manner as provided in subsection (b).

Subsection (g). Subsection (g) has been added to delineate images captured during system certification from those related to an investigation or otherwise active safety camera system. As provided in Section 1017.71(b), before a taxicab may enter operation with a new safety camera system it must be inspected by the Authority. In order to make certain that the camera system works, the Enforcement Department will cause events intended to triggering the safety camera's recording sequence then check the black box to make sure it works.

 This testing is completed at Authority facilities. The images captured will show an empty taxicab, but will be saved to evidence that the system worked properly upon introduction to service.

Affected Parties

 The regulation will affect taxicab owners, drivers and those who travel in taxicabs.

Fiscal Impact

 The final-form regulation will have no fiscal impact or increase any paperwork obligation as to any party, the Commonwealth, any political subdivisions, private sector person or the general public.

Regulatory Review

 Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on October 29, 2014, the Authority submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 44 Pa.B. 7176 (November 15, 2014), to IRRC and the Chairpersons of the House Urban Affairs Committee and the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee for review and comment.

 Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the House and Senate Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Department has considered all comments from IRRC, the House and Senate Committees and the public.

 Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(j.2)), on September 16, 2015, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on September 17, 2015, and approved the final-form rulemaking.

Effective Date and Conclusion

 The final-form rulemaking will become effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Accordingly, under sections 13 and 17 of the Act (53 Pa.C.S. §§ 5722 and 5742); section 5505(d)(17), (23) and (24) of the Parking Authorities Act (act of June 19, 2001 (P. L. 287, No. 22)) (53 Pa.C.S. §§ 5505(d)(17), (23) and (24)); sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202), and the regulations promulgated thereunder at 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1, 7.2 and 7.5; section 204(b) of the Commonwealth Attorneys Act (71 P. S. § 732.204(b)); section 745.5 of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5); and section 612 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 232), and the regulations promulgated at 4 Pa. Code §§ 7.231—7.234, the Authority adopts of the final regulations set forth in Annex A;


It Is Ordered That:

 1. The regulations of the Authority, 52 Pa. Code Chapters 1017 and 1021, are amended by adding § 1017.78 and by amending § 1021.12 to read as set forth in Annex A.

 2. The Executive Director shall cause this order and Annex A to be submitted to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality.

 3. The Executive Director shall cause this order and Annex A to be submitted for review by the designated standing committees of both Houses of the General Assembly, and for formal review by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.

 4. The Executive Director shall cause this order and Annex A to be submitted for review by the Governor's Budget Office for review of fiscal impact.

 5. The Executive Director shall cause this order and Annex A to be deposited with the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 6. The Executive Director shall serve copies of this order and Annex A upon each of the commentators and take all other actions necessary to successfully complete the promulgation of this regulation.

 7. The regulations embodied in Annex A shall become effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 8. The contact person for this rulemaking is Dennis G. Weldon, Jr., General Counsel, (215) 683-9630.

Executive Director

 (Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 45 Pa.B. 6023 (October 3, 2015).)

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 126-10 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A






§ 1017.78. Use of captured images.

 (a) Purpose. The purpose of a safety camera system is to discourage bad acts in taxicabs in furtherance of protecting the health and safety of taxicab drivers and the public.

 (b) Prohibitions. Images from a safety cameras system shall be maintained in the strictest of confidentiality and may not be duplicated, released or disclosed except as provided in subsections (e) and (f).

 (c) Local storage device.

 (1) Data storage devices secured in a taxicab as provided in § 1017.74(g) (relating to safety camera requirements) must be configured to overwrite recorded images at intervals not to exceed 60 days. Only the Enforcement Department may access images stored on the data storage devices.

 (2) The Authority will access images on the data storage devices secured in a taxicab only in the following circumstances:

 (i) Upon direction of a court of law.

 (ii) Upon direction of a law enforcement agency.

 (iii) In furtherance of an existing administrative investigation when authorized in writing by the manager of enforcement or trial counsel.

 (d) Maintenance of captured images. Images from a safety camera system in the possession of the Authority will be maintained and secured by the Enforcement Department in password protected files.

 (e) Deletion of captured images.

 (1) The Enforcement Department will delete safety camera system images on the 31st day after receipt, unless one or more of the following applies:

 (i) The image contains evidence of criminal activity.

 (ii) The image contains evidence related to a regulatory investigation or complaint.

 (iii) A law enforcement agency has requested, in writing, that the image be retained.

 (2) The Enforcement Department will maintain a log of the images excluded from deletion as provided in paragraph (1), including reference to matters necessitating retention and the date each image is ultimately deleted.

 (3) Except as provided in paragraph (4), the images excluded from deletion as provided in paragraph (1) will be deleted within 1 year of the final disposition of the related administrative or criminal proceeding.

 (4) Images retained by the Authority for use as evidence in a proceeding that results in a criminal conviction or finding of administrative liability will be deleted within 5 years of the final disposition of the related proceeding. The Enforcement Department may petition a presiding officer in the Adjudication Department for authorization to extend this retention period, for an identified period, upon good cause shown and notice to the person convicted or found liable in an administrative proceeding.

 (f) Release of captured images. The Authority will release safety camera system images to a law enforcement agency upon written request.

 (g) System testing. This section may not be interpreted to preclude the recovery and storage of images by the Authority as provided in § 1017.71(b) (relating to taxicab safety cameras).


§ 1021.12. Additional requirements.

 (a) Each taxicab driver shall know the rights and limitations of any taxicab used to provide taxicab service, including the geographical limitation of partial-rights taxicabs, if applicable.

 (b) A taxicab driver may not provide taxicab service beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty. Time spent on any break from taxicab service does not extend the 14-hour period. A taxicab driver may operate for another 14-hour period only after 8 consecutive hours off duty.

 (c) A taxicab driver may not provide taxicab service with an expired taxicab driver's certificate.

 (d) A taxicab driver may not provide taxicab service without a valid driver's license.

 (e) Whenever a taxicab is occupied by a fare-paying passenger or by members of a party of fare-paying passengers who have engaged the taxicab on an exclusive basis, the taxicab driver may not permit another person to occupy or ride in the taxicab.

 (f) No requirement of this subpart, or any Authority regulation, may be interpreted to disrupt or interfere with interstate commerce exclusively regulated by or preempted by the government of the United States.

 (g) A taxicab driver may not activate the distress button required under § 1017.24(d)(8) (relating to meter activation and display) except when the driver is in need of emergency assistance by law enforcement or other emergency responders.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 15-2006. Filed for public inspection November 13, 2015, 9:00 a.m.]


1  The act of July 16, 2004, (P. L. 758, No. 94), 53 Pa.C.S. §§ 5701 et seq., as amended, (the ''act'')

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