Washington State Senate Adopts Legislation To Regulate Facial Recognition Statewide

While a senate bill would largely ban government agencies from using facial recognition for ongoing surveillance, other legislators are pushing for a full moratorium on the software.

As Congress weighs implementing restrictions on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement and government agencies, Washington state senators are taking action on the state level.

Senators approved a bill on Wednesday that bans state and local government agencies from using facial recognition for ongoing surveillance in cases that do not involve a search warrant, according to The Seattle Times. A government agency can also determine that ongoing facial recognition use is necessary in some emergencies, such as if people are at risk of dying.

“Right now, facial-recognition technology is being used unchecked and with little recourse,” Sen. Joe Nguyen, a Democrat, said during a speech before the bill passed. “And tech companies generally don’t care about the moral values of the products they are creating.”

An agency worker with training on facial recognition must also review any decisions made about the use of the software under the legislation. The worker must have the authority to change the decision, particularly in cases where facial recognition is being used to determine the granting or denying of loans, health care, housing or employment.

SB 6280 also sets standards for training that government employees receive on how to handle personal data, such as facial scans. If the bill is adopted, government agencies must issue annual reports on how they use the technology and hold community meetings on those reports, the Times reported.

Lawmakers in the state House are pushing for a moratorium on government use of facial recognition, with one bill proposing a ban until July 1, 2023. The bill passed a House committee but did not receive a full vote before a key deadline on Wednesday, according to the Times.

Some legislators are calling for a compromise between Nguyen and the more strict House bill, with Republican Rep. Matt Boehnke suggesting a one-year moratorium so legislators can determine how facial recognition is currently being used by the government and how to properly regulate it.

The controversy surrounding facial recognition, and its accuracy in identifying people of color and women, continues to brew across the country. Several cities have banned government use of the software, and critics cite a federal study issued in December finding that most facial recognition algorithms in the U.S. are less accurate for people of color, particularly African-Americans and Native Americans.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    Perimeter Security Standards for Multi-Site Businesses

    When you run or own a business that has multiple locations, it is important to set clear perimeter security standards. By doing this, it allows you to assess and mitigate any potential threats or risks at each site or location efficiently and effectively. Read Now

  • New Research Shows a Continuing Increase in Ransomware Victims

    GuidePoint Security recently announced the release of GuidePoint Research and Intelligence Team’s (GRIT) Q1 2024 Ransomware Report. In addition to revealing a nearly 20% year-over-year increase in the number of ransomware victims, the GRIT Q1 2024 Ransomware Report observes major shifts in the behavioral patterns of ransomware groups following law enforcement activity – including the continued targeting of previously “off-limits” organizations and industries, such as emergency hospitals. Read Now

  • OpenAI's GPT-4 Is Capable of Autonomously Exploiting Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

    According to a new study from four computer scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, OpenAI’s paid chatbot, GPT-4, is capable of autonomously exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities without any human assistance. Read Now

  • Getting in Someone’s Face

    There was a time, not so long ago, when the tradeshow industry must have thought COVID-19 might wipe out face-to-face meetings. It sure seemed that way about three years ago. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • A8V MIND

    A8V MIND

    Hexagon’s Geosystems presents a portable version of its Accur8vision detection system. A rugged all-in-one solution, the A8V MIND (Mobile Intrusion Detection) is designed to provide flexible protection of critical outdoor infrastructure and objects. Hexagon’s Accur8vision is a volumetric detection system that employs LiDAR technology to safeguard entire areas. Whenever it detects movement in a specified zone, it automatically differentiates a threat from a nonthreat, and immediately notifies security staff if necessary. Person detection is carried out within a radius of 80 meters from this device. Connected remotely via a portable computer device, it enables remote surveillance and does not depend on security staff patrolling the area. 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

  • EasyGate SPT and SPD

    EasyGate SPT SPD

    Security solutions do not have to be ordinary, let alone unattractive. Having renewed their best-selling speed gates, Cominfo has once again demonstrated their Art of Security philosophy in practice — and confirmed their position as an industry-leading manufacturers of premium speed gates and turnstiles. 3