Senators introduce face recognition bill
29 June 2020 17:32 GMT

Senators Markey (D-Mass.) and Merkley (D-Ore.), and Representatives Jayapal (WA-07) and Pressley (MA-07) have introduced the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act, which would halt government use of facial recognition technology and other biometric surveillance tools at the federal level, and ban federal funds from being used by state and local law enforcement to purchase the technology.

NGO New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) endorses the bill, and urges Congress to move swiftly on this crucial and overdue legislation.

Lauren Sarkesian, senior policy counsel at New America’s Open Technology Institute:“The Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2020 takes a much-needed step to halt the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement, which disproportionately impacts Black and Brown communities and is prone to misuse. Just in the past couple weeks, three major companies that develop and sell the technology have disbanded their sales to law enforcement, in acknowledgment of the bias and civil rights issues it presents. This week’s news of Robert Williams’s wrongful arrest further demonstrates the devastating consequences that can follow when this biased technology is used by law enforcement. Congress should not delay any further in halting government use of this technology.”

Last week, Robert Williams, a Black man from the Detroit area, shared his story of being wrongfully arrested after facial recognition technology allegedly misidentified him.

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