Boston City Council decided that facial recognition technology violates people’s privacy (basic right) therefore passed ban on it.
The ordinance comes with exceptions, like allowing city employees to use facial recognition for authentication purposes such as unlocking their own devices. City officials can also use facial recognition technology for automatically redacting faces in images. But they can’t use it for identifying people.
However, any technology that can be used to identify individuals or mass surveillance (regarding facial recognition) is now considered illegal in the city of Boston. The decision on Wednesday makes Boston the largest city on the East Coast to ban facial recognition.
Facial recognition may be used to fight crimes but it also can be used for governments like United States’ to run a constant mass surveillance on people and it’s a violation of human rights over privacy.
Overall, it prevents the city of Boston from using facial recognition or obtaining information from a facial recognition system, or hiring a third party that can use facial recognition on the city’s behalf.
The ban comes after nationwide calls for police reform and limits on surveillance technology like facial recognition.Facial recognition has been widely criticized after researchers exposed the technology’s racial and gender bias.
Studies highlight how the algorithms are much more likely to misidentify people of color and women than white men, raising concerns on how governments are using the technology.