by Michael Boldon, Activist Post
The Somerville city council voted Thursday to ban the use of facial recognition by police investigations and city departments. Following San Francisco, it’s now the second UScity to outlaw the technology.
Somerville City Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen was the lead sponsor of the “Face Surveillance Full Ban Ordinance.” 9 of the 11 Somerville City Councilors sponsored the legislation, and it was approved by a 11-0 vote.
The new law refers to facial recognition as the “functional equivalent of requiring every person to carry and display a personal photo identification card at all times.” It forbids any “department, agency, bureau, and/or subordinate division of the City of Somerville” from using facial recognition software in public spaces.
In addition to a ban of active use by city departments, the ordinance outlaws use of data or evidence produced by facial recognition software systems in criminal investigations or legal proceedings.
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