How One State Managed to Actually Write Rules on Facial Recognition

A bill passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature banned almost all government use of facial recognition technology except for the motor vehicle registry, which uses it to prevent identity theft. The department can only search the police with a search warrant. (Required under a warrant Law of washington state That too becomes effective in July.)

But Republican Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts threatened to veto the measure.

“I’m not going to sign a bill that bans facial recognition,” Mr. Baker said, according to A local report, Citing its use in solving two cases of murder and child sexual abuse.

Although it was a small part of a major police reform bill, facial recognition guidelines gained attention. NBA player Jaylen Brown and his Celtic teammates presented An opinion article The Boston Globe supported reducing and regulating the technology’s racial bias problems.

“Despite our positions and profiles as professional athletes, we are not immune to racial profiling and discriminatory policing,” he wrote. “Studies confirm that face recognition is a surveillance technique Flawed and biasedWhen used against people of color and women, with high error rates. “

“We cannot allow bypassed technology in the Commonwealth for resistive policing,” he said.

Eventually the legislator and governor reached an agreement in the form of pending regulations.

Some critics, including other ACLU offices, say facial recognition is particularly harmful and Should be banned. Police unions and the Boston Police Department did not respond to requests for comment. Ryan Walsh, a public information officer with the Springfield, Mass., Police Department, indicated that the department does not see the measure as the last word on how law enforcement can use this technology.

“While we do not currently use or plan to use any facial recognition software, we hope the technology will evolve and improve as the law develops,” he said.

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