Legislation is being introduced in San Francisco today that would make the government use of facial recognition technology banned.
The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance would mean departments would have to get approval before purchasing and using surveillance technology.
The proposal by Aaron Peskin would make San Francisco the first city in the US that would ban the free use of facial recognition.
As stated in the legislation, the use of such technology would have to be accepted by the Board of Supervisors:
Amending the Administrative Code to require that City departments acquiring Surveillance Technology submit a Board of Supervisors approved Surveillance Technology Policy ordinance and a Surveillance Impact Report to the Board in connection with any request to appropriate funds for the purchase of such technology or to accept and expend grant funds for such purpose
The piece of legislation would ensure that surveillance tools are being properly used through annual audits. The technology enables authorities such as the police to track their citizens with effortless ease and free will.
Growing concerns about Big Brother watching are not just found on the other side of the Atlantic. In Britain, the use of authoritarian surveillance tools is alarming to those at the Big Brother Watch.
Its director Silkie Carlo told Metro:
Live facial recognition is a form of mass surveillance that, if allowed to continue, will turn members of the public into walking ID cards. As with all mass surveillance tools, it is the general public who suffer more than criminals.
With growing fears about how the technology is used increasing, it will be interesting to see whether any other cities will follow in the footsteps of San Francisco.
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