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San Francisco Coud Be First To Ban Facial Recognition Technology

February 7, 2019

By Gregory Barber : wired – excerpt

If a local tech industry critic has his way, San Francisco could become the first US city to ban its agencies from using facial recognition technology.

Aaron Peskin, a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors, proposed the ban Tuesday as part of a suite of rules to enhance surveillance oversight. In addition to the ban on facial recognition technology, the ordinance would require city agencies to gain the board’s approval before buying new surveillance technology, putting the burden on city agencies to publicly explain why they want the tools as well as the potential harms. It would also require an audit of any existing surveillance tech—things like gunshot-detection systems, surveillance cameras, or automatic license plate readers—in use by the city; officials would have to report annually on how the technology was used, community complaints, and with whom they share the data…

Those concerns have been echoed by prominent tech executives, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who last week in Davos warned that the use of facial recognition technology could become a “race to the bottom” without government oversight. According to Microsoft, the potential for abuse may put facial recognition beyond the reach of industry self-policing… (more)

 Who wants to be watched all the time and tracked constantly? Recent tests of facial recognition equipment have shown it is not completely accurate and that should be a reason to avoid using it.


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