Technology California’s statehouse is considering a controversial facial recognition bill

00:20  04 june  2020
00:20  04 june  2020 Source:   theverge.com

Boston votes to ban government use of facial recognition

  Boston votes to ban government use of facial recognition The Massachusetts city becomes the largest city on the East Coast to ban facial recognition use.The ordinance passed unanimously, and will prevent the city of Boston from using facial recognition technology or obtain software for conducting surveillance using the technology.

A bill approved by the state senate would set a three-year moratorium on police use of recognition algorithms. Cities including San Francisco and Oakland have passed broader bans on government use of facial recognition , and Massachusetts is considering a statewide moratorium.

More recently, Berkeley, California passed a facial recognition ban, and Springfield, Massachusetts has considered one. Cities exploring facial recognition regulation are almost all in blue parts of the country thus far, like New York, where a bill is being considered to regulate business use of the

As protestors square off against police across the country, California is readying a bill that could expand the state’s use of facial recognition, including for law enforcement purposes.

  California’s statehouse is considering a controversial facial recognition bill © Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Introduced as Assembly Bill 2261, the bill would provide a framework by which companies and government agencies could legally engage in facial recognition, provided they give prior notice and obtain opt-in consent from users.

The bill has been moving slowly through the state legislature since February and is being considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week. For supporters, it’s an important privacy measure, heading off the more extreme uses of widely available technology. Ed Chau, the assemblyman who introduced the bill, called it “the long overdue solution to regulate the use of facial recognition technology by commercial, state and local public entities,” in an editorial for CalMatters on Tuesday.

IBM turns away from facial recognition business

  IBM turns away from facial recognition business IBM said Monday it is no longer selling general purpose facial recognition software and is opposed to using such technology for racial profiling or mass surveillance. The stance against facial recognition systems that could potentially be used to target minorities or violate human rights was included in a letter IBM's chief executive sent to members of US Congress. "IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software," wrote Arvind Krishna.

A raging battle over controversial facial recognition software used by law enforcement and the civil rights of Americans might be heading to a courtroom. But there’ s organized opposition against it, buoyed after California passed a law that puts a temporary ban on police across the state from using

Dawn Wildman, founder of the California Tea Party Groups, indicates that citizen activists are doing what they can to persuade our Assembly members to nix Senate Bill 54. “We working hard to make sure our Assembly members know exactly how unhappy many Californians are about this bill , and

But critics — including the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California — say the bill will only expand the use of the technology further. In particular, they allege that providing legal conditions under which the technology can be used undercuts outright bans that have been put in place by a number of California municipalities, including San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.

“Assemblymember Chau is repackaging this bill to make its intent seem more palatable during a public health crisis,” said Matt Cagle, technology and civil liberties attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, in a statement. “But AB 2261 utterly fails as a response to COVID-19. At a time like this, we need to invest in public health, not waste money on dangerous and unnecessary tech.”

Police use of facial recognition has been widely criticized by activists and researchers. A 2019 study from Georgetown’s Center on Privacy and Technology found that police often used commercial systems incorrectly, either by inputting fraudulent faces or obscured images to get the desired result.

IBM gets out of facial recognition business .
IBM gets out of facial recognition businessThe company will stop offering facial recognition software and oppose any use of such technology for purposes of mass surveillance and racial profiling, Krishna said.

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