The City Council of Somerville, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb, has decided to ban the use of facial recognition system by police and other city departments.
Last week, the Somerville City Council expressed a unanimous vote (11-0) to prohibit the use of facial recognition technology. The technology represents a serious threat to citizens’ privacy.
“Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen, the sponsor of the measure, said its passage is a “reminder that we are in charge of our own society.”” reported the AP press agency.
“Ewen-Campen worked on the issue with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.”
Mayor Joseph Curtatone also announced that he will support the measure to prevent the abuse of facial recognition systems.
According to Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU, Somerville is the first city of the US East Coast to ban the facial recognition technology.
In May, San Francisco was the first city in the US to ban facial recognition technology.
“San Francisco, long at the heart of the technology revolution, took a stand against potential abuse on Tuesday by banning the use of facial recognition software by the police and other agencies.” reported the NYT.
“The action, which came in an 8-to-1 vote by the Board of Supervisors, makes San Francisco the first major American city to block a tool that many police forces are turning to in the search for both small-time criminal suspects and perpetrators of mass carnage.”