Good ID Highlights Need for Policies that Limit Police Use of Facial Recognition

Biometrics News - Good ID Highlights Need for Policies that Limit Police Use of Facial Recognition

Law enforcement’s unmonitored use of facial recognition technology has come under increasing scrutiny in the past few months. Bernie Sanders has echoed San Francisco and called for a complete ban on the police use of the technology, while Microsoft recently stated that it will refuse to sell its facial recognition tech for mass surveillance.

With that in mind, Good ID is trying to steer the conversation with policy objectives that will protect people’s privacy and place limits on law enforcement’s use of facial recognition tech. In a post on the organization’s blog, UC Berkeley CITRIS Policy Lab researcher Henriette Ruhrmann notes that people often have their picture taken without consent – or even their awareness – when out in public, and that there are few safeguards in place to ensure non-discrimination.

As it relates to law enforcement, Ruhrmann argues that the public should be aware of any facial recognition surveillance programs, and that any such programs should be created in consultation with that same public. Unfortunately, many members of the public – and their legislative representatives – are unfamiliar with the latest innovations, a problem that will have to be overcome in order to pass meaningful policy initiatives.

Ruhrmann also stresses that people must have an easy way to object to the collection and use of their facial biometrics, which is currently not the case in many situations. She ultimately concludes that there needs to be more oversight of facial recognition schemes, and that countries like the US and the UK will need to take a much more active role to protect the human rights of their citizens.

September 26, 2019 – by Eric Weiss