San Francisco’s Facial Recognition Ban is for City Government Agencies

San Francisco became the first city to impose a facial recognition ban on all city government agencies, including police.

Over concerns about inaccuracies, San Francisco implemented a facial recognition ban on all city agencies, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The legislation, written by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, is focused on the acquisition of these types of technologies. It asks all city departments to disclose which surveillance technology they currently use. Going forward the Board of Supervisors will decide on any new technology that either collects or stores someone’s data.

The San Francisco Police Department, which does not currently use facial recognition technology, can still use surveillance footage in investigations. The department estimated it could take two to four full-time employees to comply with the new ordinance.

Under the law, facial recognition can be used by private businesses and people and at federal and other facilities.

This is really about saying we can have security without being a security state. We can have good policing without being a police state,” Peskin said.

Other groups are concerned about preventing the police department from potential use to lower crime and use as a tool to apprehend suspects.

Read the original story on SFChronicle.com.

Learn more about use of facial recognition in public safety and emergency response:

From Alert to Action: How Integrated Data Improves Emergency Response

About the author

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is Editor of EfficientGov.com and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.