New York (The Verge) — Massachusetts on the verge of becoming first state to ban police use of facial recognition theverge.com/2020/12/2/2209….
Massachusetts lawmakers have voted to ban use of facial recognition and collection of other biometric identifiers by law enforcement in a sweeping police reform bill that received significant bipartisan support. It passed 28-12 in the state senate and 92-67 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and now awaits signing from Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.
The bill, S.2963, marks yet another state government tackling the thorny ethical issue of unregulated facial recognition use in the absence of any federal guidance from Congress. It also includes bans on chokeholds and rubber bullets in addition to restrictions on tear gas and other crowd-control weapons, as reported by TechCrunch. It isn’t a blanket ban on facial recognition; police will still be able to run searches against the state’s driver’s license database but only with a warrant and requirements that law enforcement agencies publish annual transparency reports regarding those searches.
Massachusetts joins cities like Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon, as well as San Francisco and Oakland in Northern California, that have banned police use of facial recognition. — Nick Statt/@verge