In some parts of the world, facial recognition-based surveillance is still being adopted, but there are some parts of the world where the technology is being banned, like Boston where the city council has announced that they will be banning the use of the technology and will prohibit city officials from using it.
Councilor Ricardo Arroyo sponsored the bill alongside Councilor Michelle Wu and said, “It has an obvious racial bias and that’s dangerous. 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.”
Based on an MIT study, facial recognition isn’t particularly accurate, especially when it comes to identifying people with darker skin. The study found that for darker-skinned women, the error rate of the technology went up to 35%. There was also a recent report on how a man was arrested after being wrongly identified by facial recognition software. So it has its problems.
Boston Police Commissioner William Gross is also for the ban of the technology, claiming that until it is 100% accurate, he has no interest in implementing its use.