Boston City Council votes to ban facial recognition
25 June 2020 17:12 GMT

The Boston City Council voted unanimously to ban the use of facial recognition technology by the city of Boston. 

The ordinance noted the "racial bias in face surveillance" and makes it illegal for the city of Boston to "obtain, retain, possess, access, or use any face surveillance system." 

Several municipalities in Massachusetts have already banned the use of facial recognition. 

An Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) statement on the development noted that the privacy group had previously testified before the Massachusetts Legislature in support of a bill to establish a moratorium on the use of facial recognition by state agencies.

EPIC has launched a campaign to Ban Face Surveillance and through the Public Voice coalition gathered the support of over 100 organizations and many leading experts across 30 plus countries. An EPIC-led coalition has also called on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to recommend the suspension of face surveillance systems across the federal government.