The decision earlier this month by the city of Portland, Or., to ban the use of biometric facial recognition by businesses and local police is one of the strictest measures so far taken by U.S. jurisdictions to address spreading concerns about privacy.
Only one arrest has been attributed to a costly program to record video surveillance of Baltimore streets using two camera-equipped aircraft. The city’s police commissioner expresses doubt that tax money will pay for the program once private funding for a six-month experiment runs out.
False theft charges against a suspect based solely on a database hit in a facial-recognition system helped cast doubt on Detroit’s contract with a software vendor. Claims that such systems are racially biased are coming to a head in a city that is majority-Black.
Three planes will fly over Baltimore in the next six months to gather information police hope will solve crime. The American Civil Liberties Union is appealing a court ruling that allowed the program to begin.
The technology also makes mistakes in identifying Native Americans and Asians, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The findings will strengthen critics who say the software, increasingly popular with U.S. law enforcement, not only threaten civil liberties but is subject to racial bias.
A three-year-old, $8 million crime data analysis center will get $4 million more to expand as Detroit officials and activists wrestle over how all the pieces fit together in the city’s surveillance programs.
Members of Congress are intensifying calls for a temporary ban on the federal government’s use of facial recognition technology after the disclosure that the FBI has amassed a database of more than 640 million photographs, “There are only 330 million people in the country,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said at a committee hearing.