Government, ICT - San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Tech
The major American city most associated with computers and technology has become the first to ban one of tech's most controversial innovations: Facial recognition surveillance technology.
The measure ordering police and other government agencies to refrain from using the tech within city limits passed through the Board of Supervisors on a vote of eight to one. Critics say that when law enforcement uses facial recognition, it has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, where people have complained of "over-policing". Recent research suggests that the tech doesn't recognize people of color as accurately as it does whites, which critics say builds racial profiling right into the system.
"Oakland and Berkeley are following San Francisco's lead by also considering prohibiting government use of facial surveillance technology," said Brian Hofer of Oakland's Privacy Advisory Commission. "Other states and cities outside of California are considering similar rules. We expect this movement to grow as more people become educated about the risks inherent from use of this technology."
Hofer, who helped draft the San Francisco ordinance, says he will push for a statewide version.