Facial recognition technology is at the pinnacle of the contemporary-day technological revolution. Several industries have adopted this technology for a variety of reasons including security, surveillance, and tracking. San Francisco is amongst the most responsive cities in regard to adopting new technologies such as facial recognition. However, the city has recently banned the use of this technology across law enforcement agencies and government territories. The ban came into force after eight of the eleven board members voted in favour of disembarking the technology. On 14th May, the city’s Board of Supervisors passed an anti-surveillance ordinance. The ban is an outcome of this ordinance that is meant to “regulate” technology excesses in the city.
Current Use of Facial Recognition in San Francisco
A number of government departments in San Francisco had been using facial recognition technology to track criminals. San Francisco has become the first single-city in the US to ban a state-used technology. The ban will come into force next month, 30 days post getting the mayor’s sign on the ordinance. 53 government ancillaries that were using facial recognition technologies would be affected by the ban. These include San Francisco’s Police Department that used the technology for a brief time-span.
Exceptions to the Ban
Despite the ban, San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) uses the technology for criminal investigations. Moreover, federal government can use facial recognition technology. Further, the federal government also controls the San Francisco International Airport and Port of San Francisco. The ban could majorly affect the functioning of several authorities and organisations within the city.