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Boston Is Latest City to Ban Facial Recognition Technology, Even as Federal Legislation Introduced

Facial Recognition System concept.

Fears over the use and abuse of facial recognition know-how are prompting municipalities throughout the U.S. to ban facial recognition know-how. It has additionally led federal legislators to introduce a bill that will prohibit federal businesses from utilizing the controversial AI-driven software program.

Boston metropolis officers and police will now not be capable to use facial recognition know-how, after an ordinance passed on Wednesday, June 24. San Francisco was the primary metropolis to ban the rising know-how, and different cities have adopted go well with. Notably, Boston is the sixth metropolis in Massachusetts that prohibits the native authorities from utilizing facial recognition know-how. Boston is the second-largest metropolis to ban metropolis use of facial recognition know-how. The subsequent day, June 25, Democratic lawmakers launched a invoice focusing on federal regulation enforcement use of facial recognition know-how. Congressional lawmakers have been contemplating the difficulty because the beginning of the year.

In the meantime, Amazon announced earlier this month that it’s going to cease promoting its facial recognition know-how to police for one 12 months nationwide. Microsoft has additionally mentioned it would restrict who it sells its know-how to, and Microsoft President Brad Smith has publicly referred to as for federal laws limiting the usage of facial recognition know-how. IBM has stopped investing in facial recognition know-how altogether.

Expertise With a Racial Bias?

There have lengthy been privateness and constitutional considerations relating to the usage of facial recognition know-how. Nevertheless, within the wake of mass protests over police violence, there has additionally been elevated consciousness of the function bias performs in the usage of the know-how.

The tech itself has difficulty distinguishing minorities. Facial recognition know-how makes use of synthetic intelligence. At the moment, AI packages depend on large knowledge units to have the ability to distinguish between faces. When machine studying happens on predominately white knowledge units, the result’s that extra errors happen in minorities.

As well as, regulation enforcement can probably use facial recognition software program as an enforcement software focusing on minority communities. According to Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who launched the invoice within the Home, “Black and brown persons are already over-surveilled and over-policed, and it’s important that we stop authorities businesses from utilizing this defective know-how to surveil communities of colour even additional.”

Whereas it’s unclear if the invoice will even make it to a vote, municipalities are persevering with to look at the difficulty. As main cities re-examine regulation enforcement instruments, it’s doubtless extra cities will ponder banning the usage of facial recognition know-how.

Associated Sources

Is Congress About to Take a Shot at Regulating Facial Recognition Technology? (FindLaw’s Technologist)

How Can Your Law Firm Use Facial Recognition Technology? (FindLaw’s Technologist)

Is Facial Recognition ‘Disrupting’ Civil Rights? (FindLaw’s Technologist)