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The first city to ban facial recognition in the US

The City Council of the most technological city in the world prohibits the tool that uses artificial intelligence through cameras to recognize faces

San Francisco

The city that boasts of being in the technological advance of the world, approved on Tuesday the first legislation that prohibits the use of facial recognition technology.

This tool uses artificial intelligence through the cameras to recognize faces.

In a vote approved by a majority (eight to one), in a plenary session of the City Council, the city?s board of supervisors decided that the right to privacy and protection of minorities should prevail, especially if used by law enforcement agencies.

Several representatives

Different civil rights organizations present in the room during the vote celebrated the decision of the board ensuring that this type of technology can make the police wrong when making arrests.

"It is nonsense to use that program, which has already been seen is very wrong to identify people with darker skin," said Tim Kingston, an investigator at the San Francisco Public Defense Office, after the vote.

?We are extremely happy with the result of this vote. The face is something that nobody can change or remove, we don't want a state or a police city that can follow all our movements and maybe see if we participate in certain political acts and get arrested for that. ?

The board of supervisors

The city decided that the right to privacy and protection of minorities should prevail, especially if the technology is used by law enforcement agencies

A study by the Georgetown Center for Privacy and Technology ensures that facial recognition technology used by several departments has much more room for error with African Americans.

According to the same study, this technology is not regulated and it is not mandatory that it be subject to any local or federal control, so each police department uses it at its own discretion.

The approved regulations

It was written by supervisor Aaron Peskin, who argued that facial recognition would be a step towards greater state repression.

During the debate, Peskin set an example to China and the use of such technology to keep some Muslim minorities under control.

This type of tool also serves to improve safety in events or public places such as concerts or airports, where large agglomerations occur.

Critics with the regulations

Peskin retort, instead of banning this technique altogether, its negative and positive effects should be studied beforehand.

The Boston police, for example, managed to arrest the two terrorists who attacked in 2013 during the Boston marathon in large part thanks to facial recognition programs.


He also warned of the influence that the tool can have on consumers. Thousands of establishments around the world use it to find out the emotions of the customers before certain products or to identify possible thieves.

Other cities in California, such as Oakland, are preparing to vote on this measure. And the State of Massachusetts analyzes a moratorium to review its effects on security and privacy.