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Senators Propose a National Ban on Police Facial Recognition

June 25th 20__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Adrian Pingstone

Federal Ban

Two U.S. Senators are pushing for the strongest action on the police use of facial recognition to date.

The proposed Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium ,Act introduced by Senators Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley, would keep facial recognition — and other forms of biometric surveillance — out of law enforcement hands for good, CNET reports. The bill is far more ambitious than any related legislation in the U.S., which has largely left the issue of facial recognition use by law enforcement up to individual cities.

Hard Line

In recent weeks, tech firms including Amazon and IBM have imposed bans and moratoriums on law enforcement using their facial recognition algorithms.

But the new proposal would go even further: CNET reports that the ban would be permanent unless the Senate were to someday pass another law reversing the decision.

You’re Grounded!

The bill is meant to curb law enforcement’s flagrant overreliance and misuse of flawed surveillance algorithms, which disproportionately target Black people and other people of color.

“Facial recognition technology doesn’t just pose a grave threat to our privacy, it physically endangers Black Americans and other minority populations in our country,” Markey said, according to CNET. “As we work to dismantle the systematic racism that permeates every part of our society, we can’t ignore the harms that these technologies present.”

READ MORE: Lawmakers propose indefinite nationwide ban on police use of facial recognition [CNET]

More on facial recognition: Cops Arrested an Innocent Man Because Facial Recognition Told Them To