Ohio Attorney General publishes face recognition standards
24 February 2020 16:41 GMT

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Facial Recognition Task Force released a report  containing recommendations for the state’s facial-recognition system.

The task force was empaneled following last year’s review of Ohio’s facial-recognition software, which found no evidence of misuse. The panel was selected to advise Yost on how to maintain the system as an effective tool for law enforcement while protecting privacy and civil liberties.

“Facial-recognition technology is a tool to develop leads – it’s a place where police work begins, not where it ends,” Yost said. “This report gives us the guidance to provide law enforcement with necessary tools, as well as needed guardrails to protect Ohioans.”

The task force met eight times and discussed several topics, including who should have access to the system, what images should be in the system; how the system should be audited and maintained; and racial and gender concerns associated with the accuracy and reliability of the technology.

The report notes, “The task force appreciates the opportunity to engage early in a long-term, consequential conversation on the evolution of facial recognition as an investigative tool for Ohio law enforcement. This is a pivotal time to consider structure and protocols to build public trust and confidence in powerful technology that has limitations and can be easily misunderstood.”

The panel also compared Ohio’s facial-recognition software to other states and previewed software from a new vendor that will provide the technology to the attorney general’s office in 2021.

As a result of those discussions, the task force made 13 recommendations. The report states, “It is our intent that the task force recommendations balance people’s privacy interests with the need for public safety while providing scrutiny and increased oversight.”
 

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