Ban on Oakland’s Use of Facial Recognition Gets First Round of Approval

Ban on Oakland's Use of Facial Recognition Gets First Round of Approval

The city of Oakland’s Privacy Commission has approved a proposal to ban the municipal government’s use of facial recognition.

As CBS’s local news station reports, the proposed legislation still has a long way to go before it can take effect. It will need to be approved by the Public Safety Committee, and then by the Oakland City Council.

The proposed legislation would only ban the city’s use of the biometric technology, while private companies could still deploy it. Nevertheless, the chair of the Oakland Privacy Commission, Brian Hofer, told KPIX 5 that he and his colleagues are working “to prohibit the use of facial recognition technology because of the dangers it possesses,” adding later that the technology can produce a high error rate “for women and people of color” in particular, an issue that has previously been flagged by groups like the ACLU.

The emergence of this legislation comes after a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors proposed an outright ban of facial recognition technology in that California municipality. The legislative developments suggest that there may be a particular wariness about the privacy dangers posed by facial recognition technologies in the areas around Silicon Valley, America’s hub of AI development.

Source: KPIX 5 CBS SF BayArea