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San Francisco Becomes First US City To Ban Facial Recognition Technology

News by Joey Jordan Published on 15 May,2019

San Francisco Plans To Ban Face Recognizing Technique

  • San Francisco has passed a law to ban the use of facial recognition technology in any aspect.
  • Voting in the local government passed the law where the law will be officially passed after second vote next week.
  • The law, however, will not be applied in the city's airport and seaport as these are governed by the federal government.
  • Vice president of Stop Crime SF suggested a moratorium would have been a better option than the complete ban.

A local government in San Francisco has decided to ban the use of face recognizing technology; becomes the first US city to ban the rapidly growing technology.

The local government went through the voting procedure to ban the use of face recognition by police or any other law enforcement in the city. The law will be officially passed after a second vote next week.

Additionally, anyone who buys any new surveillance device must take approval from the city administrators.

CAPTION: San Francisco to ban facial recognition technique SOURCE: BBC

Opponents of the new law said it will hinder efforts to fight crime and will put people's safety at risk whereas the supporters of the latest move said the technology is unreliable and it brings unnecessary infringement on people's privacy and liberty.

Matt Cagle from the American Civil Liberties Union in Northern California said,

With this vote, San Francisco has declared that face surveillance technology is incompatible with a healthy democracy and that residents deserve a voice in decisions about high-tech surveillance

Cagle further said,

We applaud the city for listening to the community, and leading the way forward with this crucial legislation. Other cities should take note and set up similar safeguards to protect people's safety and civil rights.

BBC reported the new rule would not apply to the airport and the seaport in San Francisco as the federal agencies govern them, not local.

Crime departments were, however, unsatisfied by the change. Joel Engardio, vice president of Stop Crime SF, told in lieu of the complete ban, a moratorium would have been more appropriate.

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