Cities Ban Government Use of Facial Recognition

Governing: Oakland, Calif., last week became the third city in America to ban the use of facial recognition technology in local government, following prohibitions enacted earlier this year in San Francisco and Somerville, Mass. Berkeley, Calif., is also weighing a ban.

The Oakland City Council voted for the ban unanimously on the grounds that the software -- used by law enforcement elsewhere in the country -- is often inaccurate, especially when identifying people who aren’t white men. “Not only does the technology pose the risk that people will be misidentified as wanted criminals,” says Council President Rebecca Kaplan, “but it’s disproportionately black people and women who are misidentified.”

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