On May 14th, officials in San Francisco voted 8 to 1 to ban the use of facial recognition technology by city workers. According to City Supervisor Aaron Peskin, “The ordinance will become final after the city’s Board of Supervisors votes again next week.” The public will also get the chance to review surveillance technology policies from city agencies. San Francisco is just one of the cities fighting against facial recognition in the U.S. due to the concerns regarding privacy and discrimination that could come with this feature.
This ban will not get rid of all surveillance tools. City agencies can still make requests to use certain tools in certain circumstances. The goal of this is to prevent the discrimination of certain groups of people. Amazon wanted to sell this technology to law enforcement but this could cause a problem due to the technology struggling to recognize people with darker skin coloring. Even Microsoft has been asking the government to regulate this technology. Despite all of the opposition, law enforcement is still using facial recognition technology. U.S. customs is one example. They have been using this technology to identify foreigners in airports.
This will always be a touchy subject with the general public. A lot of people do not approve of the government having the ability to recognize their face anywhere. It can be seen as an invasion of privacy but also has some usefulness, like in law enforcement. This technology has grown so much over the last few years and will continue to grow for many years to come. It will be interesting to see how it changes in the future.
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