San Francisco Turning Toward A Ban On The Utilization Of Facial Recognition Technology

Mohammad Imran KhanBy Mohammad Imran Khan 15 May, 2019 / ChromeInfotech
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The ordinance, which might conjointly need town departments to submit police investigation technology policies for public vetting, will become law once a second vote next week by identical officers.

SAN FRANCISCO - city officers on Tuesday voted eight to one to ban the acquisition and use of automatic face recognition technology by town personnel, during a move to control tools that local Silicon Valley companies helped develop.

The ordinance also requires the city departments to submit the technological surveillance policies for public vetting. It can become final after a second vote next week by the same officials, the city's Board of Supervisors.

The action puts the city at the forefront of accelerating discontent within u. s. over automatic face recognition, which government agencies have used for years and now has become more powerful with the increase of cloud computing and computer science technologies.

"We have a fundamental duty to safeguard the public from potential abuses," Aaron Peskin, the city supervisor who championed the ban, said before the board's vote.

Peskin said the ordinance was not an anti-technology policy. It allows continued use of surveillance tools like security cameras; the district attorney or sheriff can appeal to use specific restricted technology in exceptional circumstances as well.

Instead, Peskin said, the aim is to protect "marginalized groups" that could be harmed by the technology.

For instance, Inc has come under scrutiny since last year for selling an image analysis and ID service to law enforcement. Researchers have said this service struggles to identify the gender of individuals with darker skin, prompting fears of wrongful arrests. Amazon has defended its work, and same all users should follow the law.

Civil rights teams and corporations together with Microsoft firm, which markets a facial recognition service, have called for regulation of the technology in recent months. This has added momentum to the effort in San Francisco and a parallel ban reportedly in the works in nearby Oakland.

While communities at the heart of the technology industry are moving to limit facial recognition, police elsewhere have increased their use, primarily to spot potential suspects in known offender databases after a crime has occurred.

U.S. customs agents are vetting foreign travelers at airports with facial recognition, and other federal agencies use the technology too.

Daniel Castro, vice president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, said concerns that the U.S. government would use face identification for mass surveillance as China has been overblown. The non-profit includes technology industry representatives on its board.

San Francisco's "ban on automatic face recognition can create it frozen in time with superannuated technology," he said.



About Author: Mohammad Imran Khan

Mohammad Imran Khan is a writer by the mind learner by the heart. A writer by day and a reader by night, and a technology enthusiast. He loves walking barefoot along sandy beaches (when there are no sharp shells!), double scoops of strawberry ice-cream with choc sprinkles, and devouring great books. Die-hard lover of chocolates, novels, and adventures, his aim is to write a novel based on his own life.

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