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US Senators propose to temporarily restrict government use of facial recognition systems without a warrant

facial recognition

A Bill in the US has proposed to temporarily restrict the use of facial recognition technology by federal agencies, government employees, and law enforcement without a warrant, until a Congressional Commission can act to recommend guidelines and place limits on use of the technology. The Bill also allows citizens to file a civil action lawsuit if they are subjected to the technology by a government official without a warrant, and mandates that no federal funds may be used by a State or unit of local government to invest in facial recognition software, purchase facial recognition technology services, or acquire images for use in facial recognition technology systems. This comes after a handful of cities in the USA have banned the use of such systems, including San Francisco, Oakland, Cambridge, Berkley, and Somerville. Called the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence Act, the Bill has been drafted by Senators Jeff Merkley and Cory Booker, and proposes the moratorium because it “is critical that facial recognition not be used to suppress First Amendment related activities, violate privacy, or otherwise adversely impact individuals’ civil rights and civil liberties”. The Bill, lays down a detailed action plan of regulating the use of facial recognition technology by the government, including setting up a Commission for creating the guidelines on the use of the technology, and how Congress would implement those guidelines. Facial recognition negatively affects women, people of colour, immigrants: According to the Bill, facial recognition has disproportionately impacted people of colour, activists, immigrants, and has…

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