Tags: NSA/Surveillance | boston | facialrecognition | cityofficials

Boston Outlaws Facial Recognition Technology

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Pedestrians walk through Fan Pier Park in the Seaport neighborhood on May 13, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 June 2020 08:51 PM

Lawmakers in Boston have voted unanimously to outlaw the use of any facial recognition technology by officials in the city.

The Boston City Council passed an ordinance making it illegal for any public official in Boston to "obtain, retain, possess, access, or use" facial recognition technology.

“We’re working to end systemic racism," City Councilor Michelle Wu said during a city council teleconference. "So ending the ... over-surveillance of communities of color needs to be a part of that, and we’re just truly standing with the values that public safety and public health must be grounded in trust.”

Mayor Marty Walsh is likely to sign the measure, making Boston the sixth city in Massachusetts to have facial recognition laws.

City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo argued that facial recognition software is biased against people of color.

"It has an obvious racial bias, and that's dangerous," Arroyo said prior to the hearing, according to WBUR. "But it also has sort of a chilling effect on civil liberties. And so, in a time where we're seeing so much direct action in the form of marches and protests for rights, any kind of surveillance technology that could be used to essentially chill free speech or ... more or less monitor activism or activists is dangerous."

The new law would make Boston the second-largest city in the country to outlaw facial recognition technology.

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Lawmakers in Boston have voted unanimously to outlaw the use of any facial recognition technology by officials in the city.The Boston City Council passed an ordinance making it illegal for any public official in Boston to "obtain, retain, possess, access, or use" facial...
boston, facialrecognition, cityofficials
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2020-51-24
Wednesday, 24 June 2020 08:51 PM
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