California seeking to ban use of facial recognition: report

ams and SmartSens will initially partner to develop facial recognition sensors (Pixabay)
California's state Senate has approved a bill to ban state law enforcement agencies from using facial recognition for three years. (Pixabay)

Although the use of facial recognition is growing, some authorities remain skeptical of the technology’s usefulness. Such is the case with the California, where the state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to ban state law enforcement agencies from using the technology for three years, according to an Associated Press report.

The article said the state Senate approved the bill 25-11. The state Assembly would have to approve the bill before it heads to the governor’s desk.

According to the report, the impetus for the vote came from the city of San Francisco, which in May banned authorities from using facial recognition.

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The report was quoted as saying the American Civil Liberties Union, in a test last year, found that facial recognition incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress who had been arrested. The results disproportionately misidentified Black and Latino members, the report said.

If approved, California’s proposed facial recognition ban would be one the largest on record. Several U.S. cities have banned the use of facial recognition.

But any idea of banning facial recognition on a larger scale is not likely to materialize, as for now there’s no impetus for any nationwide regulations regarding facial recognition. Existing facial recognition regulations in cities and states throughout the country vary greatly in scope.

Facial recognition is winning favor for security screening in airports,  though, as the TSA is phasing in its use in several U.S. locations.

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