Massachusetts Town Legislators Consider Facial Recognition Ban

Biometrics News - Massachusetts Town Legislators Consider Facial Recognition Ban

Brookline, Massachusetts, is the latest municipality to consider a ban on facial recognition technology. The legislation was put forward by town meeting member Amy Hummel, and will be voted on during a special town meeting in November.

The proposal has the support of Cynthia Creem, who represents the town in the Massachusetts State Senate and currently serves as Senate Majority Leader. Creem has also tabled state legislation that would halt the use of facial recognition until “appropriate safeguards and oversight are put in place.”

“Brookline is joining a growing number of communities that are concerned about the government’s unregulated use of facial recognition technology,” said Senator Creem. “This intrusive technology threatens the civil rights and civil liberties of Massachusetts residents.”

If passed, Brookline would become the second Massachusetts town to ban facial recognition. Sommerville adopted the legislation earlier this summer.

The move is yet more evidence of the growing backlash against the public use of facial recognition, which seems to be gaining momentum in the wake of the facial recognition ban in San Francisco. The city was the first to prohibit facial recognition at the municipal level, spurring similar action in Sommerville and Oakland. At the national level, Bernie Sanders has proposed to ban the police use of facial recognition as part of his Presidential platform.

Sources: Patch, Boston Business Journal

August 30, 2019 – by Eric Weiss

Like all biometrics solutions, face recognition technology measures and matches the unique characteristics for the purposes of identification or authentication. Often leveraging a digital or connected camera, facial recognition software can detect faces in images, quantify their features, and then match them against stored templates in a database.

Face scanning biometric tech is incredibly versatile and this is reflected in its wide range of potential applications. Learn more on FindBiometrics’ Facial Recognition page.