A bill passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature that banned virtually all governments from using facial recognition technology, except for the Motor Vehicle Registry. to prevent identity theft. The department can only track police when there is a search warrant. (Summons required under Washington state law also take effect July.)
But Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker has threatened to veto the measure.
“I will not sign a bill banning facial recognition,” said Baker, according to a local report, citing its use in solving two cases of homicide and child sexual abuse.
Although it was a small part of the larger police overhaul bill, the facial recognition guide caught the attention. NBA player Jaylen Brown and his Celtics teammates have submitted a point-of-view article to the Boston Globe to criticize the issues of technology’s racial bias and support the regulation.
“Regardless of our position and profile as professional athletes, we are not immune to racial profiling and discrimination,” they wrote. “Studies confirm that facial recognition surveillance technology is flawed and misleading, with significantly higher error rates when used with people of color and women.”
They added: “We cannot allow biased technology to drive racism in the Commonwealth.
Eventually the lawmakers and the governor reached a compromise, in the form of pending regulations.
Some critics, including other ACLU offices, say facial recognition is uniquely harmful and should be banned. Police unions and the Boston Police Department did not respond to requests for comment. Ryan Walsh, a public information officer at the Springfield Police Department, Mass., Points out that the department does not consider this measure as a final word on how law enforcement can use this technology.
“Although we do not currently use or plan to use any facial recognition software, we expect the law to evolve as technology develops and improves,” he said.