San Francisco becomes first US city to ban facial recognition technology

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

The proposal, called the Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance, was lead by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who regarded it as "an ordinance about having accountability around surveillance technology." The development marks a stark contrast to the swift deployment of this key technology by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

"This is not an anti-technology policy," said Aaron, acknowledging that many tools used by law enforcement are vital for the city's security but facial recognition technology is "uniquely dangerous and oppressive." The ordinance will require city agencies to get board approval prior to buying and the use of any new surveillance technology, while also setting up audits for existing surveillance equipment used in cases such as body cameras and ShotSpotter.

Civil rights and privacy advocates like the ACLU and those in favor of this move have pushed the notion that facial recognition technology is unreliable and can be misused for mass surveillance, infringe on people's privacy and liberty, and possibly lead to more false arrests, while opponents of the bill claim it will create hurdles in fighting crime and put people's safety at risk.

Once the new rule goes into effect, expected in about a month's time, the city's 53 departments would be banned from using this technology. "We all support good policing but none of us want to live in a police state," remarked Aaron Peskin.

The bill does not forbid residents and businesses in the city from using this technology for private use like home surveillance systems. "I think San Francisco has a responsibility to speak up on things that are affecting the entire globe, that are happening in our front yard."

The city's airport and seaport also remain unaffected by this bill as they are run by federal, not local, agencies.

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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
There are already security cameras that cover nearly every square inch of San Francisco. As a result, I'm on the fence with this one. With all the cameras in place, not sure why facial recognition technology is needed. But at the same time, what could it hurt?
 
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tkabou

TS Booster
...part of their "Sanctuary State" profile. 5th largest economy in the world, highest taxes and rent prices in the nation, massive homelessness and drug use in the open streets, while their Democrat governor travels to Honduras to figure out how he can help reduce their poverty. What a joke.
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
I love how the Techspot community, usually against overwhelming government surveillance and overreach of power, is having to pull contrived reasons out of their nether regions to post negatively on California doing something right.

Sure, California has a ton of problems. So does texas, new york, and basically every other state out there. But this is a step int he right direction of limiting the Orwellian power of the surveillance/police state.
 
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iamcts

...part of their "Sanctuary State" profile. 5th largest economy in the world, highest taxes and rent prices in the nation, massive homelessness and drug use in the open streets, while their Democrat governor travels to Honduras to figure out how he can help reduce their poverty. What a joke.
What does any of this have to do with surveillance? It's like the article was about oranges, but you're ranting about lemons.
 
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iamcts

California is a failed state.
One of the top 10 largest economies in the world even just as a state? Your argument has zero weight because it isn't based on facts from this reality.

Every state has their own issues. California just gets an unjustifiable amount of hate because people need something to complain about.

Whine whine whine.
 
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psycros

TS Evangelist
California is a failed state.
One of the top 10 largest economies in the world even just as a state? Your argument has zero weight because it isn't based on facts from this reality.

Every state has their own issues. California just gets an unjustifiable amount of hate because people need something to complain about.

Whine whine whine.
California gets a lot of flack because its a trendsetter - their stupidity is often contagious. Furthermore, this ordinance means absolutely nothing because the video data will simply be transmitted out of state to be processed by facial recognition. This reeks of leftist political pandering, primarily to the illegal alien lobby..and I say that as someone who is firmly against mass surveillance and facerec. A fake mustache or glasses are usually enough to throw it off, or you can just wear an infection mask everywhere. If it becomes truly oppressive half of us will be sporting the Gay Fawkes or lucador look.
 
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One of the top 10 largest economies in the world even just as a state? Your argument has zero weight because it isn't based on facts from this reality.

Every state has their own issues. California just gets an unjustifiable amount of hate because people need something to complain about.

Whine whine whine.

blah blah blah - wake me during their next mass fire they can't put out.
 
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bluetooth fairy

TS Booster
Yup anything to protect criminals and illegal.
Good lord. You're really stretching there.

A Californian scientist could create a cure to all cancers, but TechSpot commenters would still be upset just because it's California.
Wow-wow, take it easy. I don't know the numbers but the TS audience != the States. With the help of TS we are watching at you even from another side of the globe.
 
I

iamcts

California is a failed state.
One of the top 10 largest economies in the world even just as a state? Your argument has zero weight because it isn't based on facts from this reality.

Every state has their own issues. California just gets an unjustifiable amount of hate because people need something to complain about.

Whine whine whine.
California gets a lot of flack because its a trendsetter - their stupidity is often contagious. Furthermore, this ordinance means absolutely nothing because the video data will simply be transmitted out of state to be processed by facial recognition. This reeks of leftist political pandering, primarily to the illegal alien lobby..and I say that as someone who is firmly against mass surveillance and facerec. A fake mustache or glasses are usually enough to throw it off, or you can just wear an infection mask everywhere. If it becomes truly oppressive half of us will be sporting the Gay Fawkes or lucador look.
If any other state like Texas or Arkansas passes this policy you'll be all for it. Just because California is a blue state doesn't mean it's automatically a bad policy.
 
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Wow... I would say you should feel horrible for making such a comment, but clearly nutjobs like you lack empathy of any kind. Slamming the victims of a tragedy that was caused by a broken electric transmission line is unjustifiable.

I guess the TechSpot staff also have zero integrity since they're allowing hate speech on their site.

If they keep voting for pathetic leadership and keep endorsing anti-common sense policies like this....

But then again, I guess they'll always have people to cheer them on.

Regardless my situation, California will STILL be in the same mess it's in now and has been for years.
 
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JamesSWD

TS Maniac
California is a failed state.
One of the top 10 largest economies in the world even just as a state? Your argument has zero weight because it isn't based on facts from this reality.

Every state has their own issues. California just gets an unjustifiable amount of hate because people need something to complain about.

Whine whine whine.
You need to be better informed. CA is a failed state in many ways. I was born & raised in SoCal and lived there for decades before finally moving myself and my business to a better state.

Citing that they're one of the largest economies in the world is not a valid counter-argument to their societal & govt failures. They're simply a very large state with a large population. Their sheer size, population, and location lends to it being a very large economy. It was CA's great qualities, for people & businesses, that made it so attractive for the past century and helped build it into a large economy...until the past three decades.

That CA is a failed (or failing) state has been obvious to the informed for the last three decades. Due to their failed Dem policies, high taxes, stifling laws & regulations, massive illegal alien population, massive homeless population, sanctuary city laws, massive debt liability, and other failures of their govt., there's been an exodus of citizens who are fleeing to other states. They've lost millions of citizens and thousands of businesses, which has dramatically affected their tax base and future debt liabilities. They're in an unsustainable condition.

Want more indicators of a failed state? Truck rental companies, like UHaul, charge much more to rent a truck going out of state, because they know that truck isn't coming back soon with a different customer. UHaul has to spend money to go fetch their trucks from those other states, also causing massive backlogs in truck reservations. In other words, people & businesses are moving out of the state in droves, but very few are moving in. This is a fact that's been going on for decades.

Speaking from experience, CA's last great period was the 80's...and up until then was a red state. Then it started shifting purple-blue and began its slow spiral down the drain. Up until the 80's, CA was a great state for people & businesses. But the darker blue it got, the worse the taxes & policies got, and the worse the state got. Again, those are facts.

Your statement that every state has its problems is correct. But millions of people & businesses aren't fleeing other states for CA. They're fleeing CA for other states. There's reality and fact.