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Proposed Local Facial Recognition Technology Ban Draws Fire

2 10 29

Facial Recognition

Ronald Bailey | 9.23.2021 10:10 AM

Around 20 different state and local governments have so far banned some uses of facial recognition technologies by law enforcement. The Town of Hamden (population around 61,000) in Connecticut is considering joining those jurisdictions by adopting an ordinance that would prohibit all town officials from obtaining, retaining, accessing or using "any facial recognition system or any information obtained from a facial recognition system."

The proposed ordinance prompted the Washington, D.C.-based Information Technology Innovation Foundation (ITIF) think tank to issue a press release opposing the ban and accusing the town council of "virtue signaling" and suggesting that the ordinance "might accidentally ban its local officials from using iPhones." The proposed Hamden ordinance appears to be a somewhat truncated version of the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Northern California model facial recognition ban ordinance.

The ITIF has a minor point that Hamden's inartfully crafted proposed ordinance could be interpreted as banning such security features such as the iPhone's facial recognition unlocking technology. However, that specific issue could easily be fixed if the city council members simply looked a bit further north and modeled their prohibition on Boston's facial........

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