San Francisco Looking to Ban Facial Recognition Tech

San Francisco Looking to Ban Facial Recognition Tech

A proposed ban in San Francisco has introduced a series of rules that could dramatically limit enhanced surveillance.

San Francisco could be the first U.S. city to ban its agencies from using facial recognition technology thanks to Aaron Peskin, a member of the city's Board of Supervisors, who has proposed a new suite of rules that could severely limit enhanced surveillance of the city.

The proposed ban was introduced last Tuesday and included a ban on facial recognition technology as well as strict rules on approval processes for new surveillance equipment bought by city agencies. The new ordnance would require agencies to gain the board's approval before buying new surveillance technology, putting the burden on city agencies to publicly explain why they want the tools as well as the potential harms.

The ordinance would also require an audit of any existing surveillance technology, including things like gunshot-detection systems, surveillance cameras, or automatic license plate readers. Officials would have to report annually on how the technology was used, community complaints and with whom they share the data.

The rules are similar to ordinances recently passed in nearby cities like Oakland and Santa Clara County, but San Francisco would be the first to official ban the use of facial recognition. 

"I have yet to be persuaded that there is any beneficial use of this technology that outweighs the potential for government actors to use it for coercive and oppressive ends," Peskin said.

Critical like Peskin argue that, in the hands of the government, facial recognition enables all-too-easy access to real-time surveillance, especially given the availability of large databases of faces and names (driver's licenses, social media).

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • Security Questions Persist After Attempted Assassination Attempt of Donald Trump

  • March Networks Expands Partnership with American Dairy Queen Corp.

    March Networks recently announced its selection as an American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) approved supplier of video surveillance solutions for the DQ® system. This partnership marks a significant milestone in March Networks’ ongoing collaboration with DQ franchise owners since 2017, serving more than two hundred DQ restaurants across 13 U.S. states. Read Now

  • SIA Opens Nominations for 2024 “25 on the RISE Awards”

    The Security Industry Association (SIA) has opened the call for nominations for the second annual 25 on the RISE Awards– a program presented by SIA’s RISE community for emerging security leaders. Each year, this initiative honors 25 security leaders of today and tomorrow for their impactful contributions to advancing the security industry. Read Now

    • Industry Events

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • FEP GameChanger

    FEP GameChanger

    Paige Datacom Solutions Introduces Important and Innovative Cabling Products GameChanger Cable, a proven and patented solution that significantly exceeds the reach of traditional category cable will now have a FEP/FEP construction. 3

  • AC Nio

    AC Nio

    Aiphone, a leading international manufacturer of intercom, access control, and emergency communication products, has introduced the AC Nio, its access control management software, an important addition to its new line of access control solutions. 3

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3