San Francisco city supervisors (California, USA) are conducting a vote to amend the facial recognition technology ban in local government.
According to Engadget, this work is aimed at allowing the use of facial recognition on iPhones equipped with Face ID and other devices with similar technology. This is important when employees were not allowed to use face recognition technology (for example, they had to enter a password on the iPhone).
Not only San Francisco, but other small towns such as Brookline and Massachusetts have recently passed the ban, while the Alameda town of Area Bay is considering similar legislation.
The loosening rules open up an obvious problem: it’s hard to avoid face recognition technology entirely in modern times. Although users do not always have to use this technology, in fact even low-cost phones and tablets come with it as an option. Besides, it is a fact that Face ID is used for strict security measures on the device instead of a ban that primarily targets surveillance behavior.
The ban on face recognition was first introduced by the San Franciso government after privacy-related issues after it began testing image recognition-based image search systems in January 2019, with a 90 day trial period. Although the trial has expired, police officers may have used facial recognition technology for their activities and have been criticized by critics.