Facial recognition is increasingly touted as the solution for security problems but the technology does get criticized by rights activists, particularly when large-scale deployment is considered in public spaces where citizens who have done nothing wrong are captured by facial recognition tech as well. It’s now possible that San Francisco could become the first city in the United States to ban the use of facial recognition by the city.

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted on the Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance which was introduced by District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin. The ordinance is going to impose rigid limits on the types of biometric data that the city’s departments can collect, when and how that data is used, and it also mandates an oversight regime to ensure public transparency.

The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance also takes it a step further by simply banning the use of facial recognition technology by the local government. If the ordinance is passed, San Francisco will become the country’s first city to ban surveillance at this level.

As per the legislation, “surveillance technology” can include automated license plate readers, mobile DNA capture systems, Stingray cell tower spoofers, X-ray vans, RFID scanners, and more. Even body-worn cameras are present on the list.

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