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New US bill could ban facial recognition tech

Posted on Saturday, 19 June, 2021 | Comment icon 4 comments

Should facial recognition data be used as evidence ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Mike Mozart
Congress has introduced a bill that aims to stop facial recognition being used by law enforcement agencies.
In this day and age, it's near impossible to walk down the street without being picked up by some sort of camera or surveillance system - and now government and law enforcement agencies are using footage captured by these devices to incriminate people and put them behind bars.

At the center of the controversy lies the sophisticated, yet flawed facial recognition systems being used to automatically identify individuals picked up on camera.

The use of this technology is particularly problematic because such systems have a tendency to discriminate against ethnic minorities, resulting in innocent people ending up in prison.
"We are seeing continued use of facial recognition platforms and technologies by our government and law enforcement, resulting in reports of discriminatory outcomes that have put innocent people behind bars," said bill co-sponsor Senator Ed Markey.

"It's clear that we can't rely on private companies to implement their own moratoria on technology that isn't ready for prime time."

The new Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act, therefore, aims to place a moratorium on the use of such technology by government and law enforcement agencies.

"People should be able to seek medical treatment, attend religious services, and visit friends and family without worrying that government agencies are keeping tabs on their every movement," said Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

Source: | Comments (4)

Tags: Facial Recognition

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Trihalo42 on 19 June, 2021, 18:33
Paid rioters are being identified and arrested, so facial recognition software is being declared racist. Maybe it's also the fact people pointed out Hillary's body double had differently shaped ears. Ears are a big part of facial recognition, in case you didn't know. Will Smith can't hide anywhere. (His big ears were in the movie Enemy of the State). Don't worry though, they'll still use the software, but it'll be written up as an "anonymous tip" instead.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Seti42 on 19 June, 2021, 18:39
Good. While facial recognition can be a useful tool (in security, LE, etc.) it shouldn't be the only tool used to identify or prosecute anyone. Because, yeah. It is deeply flawed in the ways mentioned. It's really no better than eyewitnesses...And there's mountains of evidence that eyewitnesses are a deeply flawed method of identification .
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin on 20 June, 2021, 1:45
What the heck does sophisticated facial recognition have anything to do with minorities being more apt to be thrown in prison?  
Comment icon #4 Posted by OpenMindedSceptic on 20 June, 2021, 5:44
Insidious piece of software. Glad it might get banned. 

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