Minneapolis, Minnesota, could become the next American city to implement a public ban on the use of facial recognition technology. The full city council will take up the issue on February 12, when it discusses a policy proposal that has been advanced by a smaller council committee.
The new measure would prevent the Minneapolis police and other city departments from using the controversial technology. As it stands, the Minneapolis police currently use facial recognition during their investigations to match images in a county mugshot database to images pulled from sources like surveillance cameras and social media.
The decision to table the new proposal reflects the growing backlash to such practices. Civil rights advocates have argued that facial recognition encroaches on people’s right to privacy, and that the technology has a disproportionate impact on communities of color.
Those concerns have prompted multiple municipalities to ban the public use of facial recognition in the past few years. San Francisco was the first city to do so, though cities like Boston and Portland, Maine, have since followed its example. Massachusetts is also moving forward with a statewide ban, while Portland, Oregon, has passed a ban that covers both public and private organizations.
However, many police departments and their technology providers have continue to push for the expanded use of facial recognition. The LAPD recently announced that it will continue to use facial recognition, while Clearview AI brought in $8.6 million in funding even though it is facing several lawsuits as a result of its unregulated use of the technology.
Source: WEAU News
January 26, 2021 – by Eric Weiss