Calif. moves to block police from using facial recognition in body cams


“With this bill, California is poised to become one of the first states in the country to prevent its residents from becoming test subjects for an invasive tracking technology proven to be fundamentally incompatible with civil liberties and human rights,” Cagle added. “Other states should follow suit.”

The bill, drafted by Ting, states, “Facial recognition and other biometric surveillance technology has been repeatedly demonstrated to misidentify women, young people, and people of color and to create an elevated risk of harmful ‘false positive’ identifications.”

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, FILE

A video surveillance camera hangs from the side of a building, May 14, 2019, in San Francisco, California.

It also argues that if police employ facial recognition tech on their body cams it could hurt their relationship with the community.

“Its use would also diminish effective policing and public safety by discouraging people in these communities, including victims of crime, undocumented persons, people with unpaid fines and fees, and those with prior criminal history from seeking police assistance or from assisting the police,” the bill argues.

(MORE: Over 80% of facial recognition suspects flagged by London’s Met Police were innocent, report says)

Some law enforcement groups, however, including the California Peace Officers’ Association, announced on their website that they oppose the bill.

A U.K. report from earlier this year claimed that 81% of suspects flagged by facial recognition technology used by London’s Metropolitan Police were innocent.

San Francisco and Oakland, the fourth- and eighth-largest cities in California, respectively, already banned their respective police departments from using facial recognition technology earlier this year.



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