Bernie Sanders Proposes Ban on Police Use of Facial Recognition Tech

“Police use of facial recognition software is the latest example of Orwellian technology that violates our privacy and civil liberties under the guise of public safety and it must stop.”

Biometrics News - Bernie Sanders Proposes Ban on Police Use of Facial Recognition Tech

Bernie Sanders has made facial recognition an important component of his campaign platform, calling for a complete ban on the police use of the technology. The Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate introduced the ban as part of a broader police reform proposal that would also standardize the use of body cameras, prevent local police from acquiring military hardware, and halt the use of algorithmic tools until they can be properly audited.

“Police use of facial recognition software is the latest example of Orwellian technology that violates our privacy and civil liberties under the guise of public safety and it must stop,” Sanders campaign spokesperson Sarah Ford told CNN.

Ford cited the recent facial recognition ban in San Francisco, and indicated that Sanders would like to implement a similar policy nationwide. Oakland followed San Francisco and passed its own facial recognition ban in July.

It’s far too early to tell if it will get him elected, but the Sanders proposal does echo public concerns about facial recognition and potential bias in biometric algorithms. It also suggests that some politicians are starting to listen to these concerns, and are trying to answer the calls for more government oversight of facial recognition tech.

Sources: The Verge, CNN Business

August 20, 2019 – by Eric Weiss