Activists demand facial recognition ban for law enforcement in major new push

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 4 are here. Check out what's clicking on A coalition of activist groups representing more than 15 million combined members is pushing for a federal ban on law enforcement's use of facial recognition technology. The groups, which are planning to blanket lawmakers with emails and phone calls, are coming together under BanFacialRecognition, which was organized by the digital rights group Fight for the Future as a way to show the public exactly where and how the controversial surveillance technology is being used nationwide. "Facial recognition is one of the most authoritarian and invasive forms of surveillance ever created, and it's spreading like an epidemic. The technology has been banned by three cities -- Oakland and San Francisco in California, and Somerville, Mass. Fight for the Future, along with more than two dozen other organizations, is calling for a total ban on facial recognition technology at the federal level. Two tests of Amazon's facial recognition software, which the tech giant claims can now detect "fear," falsely labeled California state lawmakers and members of Congress as criminal suspects. Most of the false positives were people of color in both tests. The Jeff Bezos-led company has said that it encourages law enforcement agencies to use 99 percent confidence ratings for public safety applications of the technology. Amazon's Ring security service, which deploys facial recognition technology, is reportedly working with more than 200 police departments. "When using facial recognition to identify persons of interest in an investigation, law enforcement should use the recommended 99 percent confidence threshold, and only use those predictions as one element of the investigation" and not the sole determinant, the company said in a blog post earlier this year. The grassroots coalition, which includes Consumer Action, Restore the Fourth, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Color of Change, United We Dream and Media Justice, is united in the belief that regulating the technology isn't enough. "We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

California's facial recognition ban for police body cameras heads to governor's desk

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 12 are here. Check out what's clicking on California could soon become the largest state to ban the use of facial recognition technology in law enforcement body cameras, a significant milestone in the regulation of the burgeoning technology. The State Assembly on Thursday passed AB 1215, a bill that would impose a three-year moratorium on the technology, garnering praise from privacy and civil liberties advocates. The legislation now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk.

Majority of Americans trust police to use facial recognition responsibly

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 11 are here. Check out what's clicking on A majority of Americans trust law enforcement agencies to use facial recognition technology responsibly, and say it's OK to use the controversial tool to keep public spaces secure, according to a new survey. However, the Pew Research Center survey also found that acceptance of the technology for law enforcement does not extend to other areas. In terms of its responsible use, technology companies and advertisers only received support from 36 percent and 18 percent of respondents in the survey.

You're already being watched by facial recognition tech. This map shows where

Fast Company

But these cities are in the minority. A new map produced by the digital rights nonprofit Fight for the Future illustrates just how pervasive facial recognition technology is across the country: an overwhelming number of red stars on the map indicate where local and state police are using facial recognition, including in Detroit, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can toggle on and off to see the map pins for each of the groups using the technology, which include police departments (both city and state), as well as airports that use facial recognition and cities that are starting to mobilize against the technology. Facial recognition has become one of the most hotly debated technologies today because of how inaccurate it is, particularly among brown and black people--the ones who are often the target of police surveillance. However, tech companies like Amazon continue selling it to the government, prompting a backlash and a movement in local politics to create oversight and transparency for how the government is using facial recognition.

It's a facial-recognition bonanza: Oakland bans it, activists track it, and pics taken from dating-site OkCupid feed it


We'll be talking about everyone's favorite topic at the moment: facial recognition. First San Francisco, Somerville ... now Oakland: California's Oakland has become the third US city to ban its local government using facial recognition technology, after its council passed an ordinance this week. Council member Rebecca Kaplan submitted the ordinance for city officials to consider earlier this year in June. The document describes the shortcomings of the technology and why it should be banned. "The City of Oakland should reject the use of this flawed technology on the following basis: 1) systems rely on biased datasets with high levels of inaccuracy; 2) a lack of standards around the use and sharing of this technology; 3) the invasive nature of the technology; 4) and the potential abuses of data by our government that could lead to persecution of minority groups," according to the ordinance.