San Francisco can ban the police, use of facial recognition by the city

SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco Is On Track To Become The First US City UU In Prohibiting The Use Of Facial Recognition By Police And Other Agencies In The City, Which Reflects A Growing Reaction Against A Technology That Is Being Introduced In Airports, Motor Vehicle Departments, Stores, Stadiums, And Home Security Cameras.

US Government Agencies UU They Have Used The Technology For More Than A Decade To Scan Databases In Search Of Suspects And To Prevent Identity Fraud. But Recent Advances Have Created More Sophisticated Artificial Vision Tools, Which Make It Easier For Police To Identify A Child Or Demonstrator Disappeared In A Moving Crowd Or For Retailers To Analyze The Buyers' Facial Expressions While Examining Store Shelves.

The Efforts To Restrict Their Use Are Being Rejected By The Groups In Charge Of Enforcing The Law And The Technological Industry, Although Far From Being A United Front. Microsoft, Although Opposed To Total Prohibition, Has Urged Legislators To Establish Technology Limits, Warning That Leaving It Unmarked Could Allow An Oppressive Dystopia Recalling The George Orwell Novel ' S" 1984.

" Face Recognition Is One Of Those Technologies That People Get From The Creepy Thing That Is," Said Alvaro Bedoya, Who Directs The Georgetown University's Privacy And Technology Center. It's Not Cookies In A Browser. There Is ' S Something About This Technology That Really Puts The Hairs On The Back Of The Heads Of The People '

Without Regulations That Prohibit Police From Accessing Drivers' License Databases, People Who Have Never Been Arrested Could Be Part Of The Virtual Police Training Without Their Knowledge, Say Technology Skeptics.

They Worry That One Day People Can Not Go To A Park, Shop Or School Without Being Identified And Tracked.

Already, A Handful Of Large Stores Across The United States Are Testing Facial Recognition Cameras That Can Guess Their Clients ' Age, Sex Or Mood As They Go By, With Aim To Show Specific Announcements And In Real Time On The Video Screens Of The Store.

If San Francisco Adopts A Ban, Other Cities, States Or Even Congress Could Follow, With Lawmakers From Both Parties Looking To Curtail Government Surveillance And Others Hoping To Restrict How Businesses Analyze The Faces, Emotions And Gaits Of An Unsuspecting Public.

The California Legislature Is Considering A Proposal That Prohibits The Use Of Facial Identification Technology In Body Cameras. A Bipartisan Bill In The US Senate UU Exempt Police Requests But Establish Limits To Companies That Analyze The Faces Of People Without Their Consent.

Legislation Similar To San Francisco ' S Is Pending In Oakland, California, And On Thursday One Proposed Ban Was Introduced In Somerville, Massachusetts.

Bedoya Said To Ban In San Francisco, The" Most Technologically Advanced City In Our Country, Would Send To Warning To Other Police Departments Thinking Of Trying Out The Imperfect Technology. But Daniel Castro, Vice President Of The Industry-backed Information Technology And Innovation Foundation, Said The Ordinance Is Too Extreme To Serve As A Model.

It Might Find Success In San Francisco, But I Will Be Surprised If It Finds Success In A Lot Of Other Cities, I Said

San Francisco Is Home To Tech Innovators Such As Uber, Airbnb And Twitter, But The City ' S Relationship With The Industry Is Testy. Some Supervisors In City Hall Are Calling For A Tax On Stock-based Compensation In Response To San Francisco Companies Going Public, Including Lyft And Pinterest.

At The Same Time, San Francisco Is Big On Protecting Immigrants, Civil Liberties And Privacy. In November, Nearly 60% Of Voters Approved A Proposal To Strengthen Data Privacy Guidelines.

The City ' S Proposed Face-recognition Is Part Of Broader Legislation Aimed At Regulating The Use Of Surveillance By City Departments. The Legislation Applies Only To San Francisco Government And Would Not Affect Companies Or People Who Want To Use The Technology. It Would Also Affect The Use Of Facial Recognition At San Francisco International Airport, Where Security Is Mostly Overseen By Federal Agencies.

The Board Of Supervisors Is Scheduled To Vote The Bill On Tuesday.

San Francisco Police Say They Stopped Testing Face Recognition In 2017. Spokesman David Stevenson Said In A Statement The Department Looks Forward To Developing Legislation That Addresses The Privacy Concerns Of Technology While Balancing The Public Safety Concerns Of Our Growing, International City. "

Supervisor Aaron Peskin Recognizes His Legislation, Denominated" Detention Detention Order" , Is Not Very Friendly With Technology. But Public Supervision Is Critical Given The Potential Of Abuse, He Said.

The Technology Often Fails. Studies Have Shown That Error Rates In Facial Analysis Systems Built By Amazon, IBM And Microsoft Were Much Higher For Women With Darker Skin Than For Men With Lighter Skin.

Even If Facial Recognition Were Perfectly Accurate, Its Use Would Pose A Serious Threat To Civil Rights, Especially In A City With A Rich History Of Protest And Expression, Said Matt Cagle, An Attorney With The ACLU Of Northern California.

If Facial Recognition Were Added To Body Cameras Or Public-facing Surveillance Feeds, It Would Threaten The Ability Of People To Go To A Protest Or Hang Out In Dolores Park Without Having Their Identity Tracked By The City, I Said, Referring To A Popular Park In San Francisco ' S Mission District.

Local Critics Of San Francisco ' S Legislation, However, Worry About Hampering Police Investigations In A City With A High Number Of Vehicle Break-ins And Several High-profile Annual Parades. They Want To Make Sure Police Can Keep Using Merchants And Residents ' Video Surveillance In Investigations Without Bureaucratic Hassles.

Joel Engardio, Vice President Of The Base Stop SF Crime Group, Wants The City To Be Flexible.

" Our Point Of View Is, Instead Of A Total Prohibition Forever, Why Not A Moratorium That We Do Not Use Problematic Technology, But We Open The Door For When Technology Improves?" He Said.

Such A Moratorium Is Under Consideration In The Massachusetts Legislature, Where It Has The Backing Of Republican And Democratic Senators.

Often, The Government's Facial Recognition Efforts Occur Secret Or Go Unnoticed. In Massachusetts, The Registry Of Motor Vehicles Has Used Technology Since 2006 To Prevent Driver License Fraud, And Some Law Enforcement Agencies Have Used It As A Tool For Detectives.

It's Technology That We Use, Said Lieutenant Of The Massachusetts State Police, Tom Ryan, And Added That" We Tend Not To Get Too Involved In Advertising." That Fact. Ryan And The Agency Refused To Answer More Questions About How It Is Used.

Massachusetts Senator Cynthia Creem, Democrat And Sponsor Of The Moratorium Bill, Said She Is Concerned About The Lack Of Standards That Protect The Public From An Incomplete Or Partial Face Recognition Technology. Until There Are Better Guidelines, He Said, Should Not ' T Be Used By The Government.

The California Highway Patrol Does Not Use Facial Recognition Technology, Spokeswoman Fran Clader Said.

El Portavoz Del Departamento De Vehículos Motorizados De California, Marty Greenstein, Dice Que La Tecnología De Reconocimiento Facial" Específicamente No Está Permitida En Las Fotos Del DMV" . La Portavoz Del Departamento De Justicia Del Estado, Jennifer Molina, Dijo Que Su Agencia No Utiliza La Tecnología De Identificación De Rostro, & Que La Política Establece Que El DOJ & The Solicitantes No Deben Mantener Imágenes Del DMV Con El Fin De Crear Una Base De Datos. Salvo Autorización.

The Legisladores También Buscaron Una Moratoria De Reconocimiento Facial Este Año En Washington, El Estado Natal De Microsoft & Amazon, Pero Fue Destruido Luego De La Oposición De La Industria & La Policía. Microsoft, En Cambio, Respaldó Una Propuesta Más Liviana Como Parte De Un Proyecto De Ley De Privacidad De Datos Más Amplio, Pero Las Deliberaciones Se Detuvieron Antes De Que The Legisladores Suspendieran El Mes Pasado.