Earlier this year, the city of San Francisco announced that they would be banning the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces. It was essentially a blanket ban, but the problem with this ban is that it also affected the way the public used their smartphones, especially the iPhone which uses facial recognition technology as a form of security.
Perhaps they did not consider this or maybe the inconvenience of having to constantly enter a passcode proved to be more troublesome than previously thought, but a report from WIRED has revealed that the city has since made some amends to the ban on facial recognition tech. This amendment will now allow the use of iPhones with Face ID technology, and will also allow municipal agencies to obtain products that include facial recognition technology, as long as there are no viable alternatives.
City employees will still not be allowed to use facial recognition tech and will need to enter passcodes. That being said, the report goes to highlight how much facial recognition tech has made its way into our lives and that an outright blanket ban would be impossible and not necessarily practical.
After all, while there are privacy concerns regarding the tech, there is also proof that suggests that the technology is great for security. For example, a recent test revealed that Apple’s Face ID tech works amazingly well and was not fooled by masks, unlike other some other similar tech that was employed for use in airports.