USA: San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

The city of San Francisco approved Last Tuesday a rule that prohibits the use of facial recognition technology. This technology makes use of artificial intelligence to recognize faces through digital cameras.

The board of city supervisors decided to prioritize the right to privacy and the protection of minorities. Different representatives of different civil rights organizations present during the vote celebrated the decision of the board stating that this type of technology can lead to errors when making police arrests.

In that sense, Tim Kingston, researcher at the Public Defender's Office of San Francisco, assured El País newspaper that "It is nonsense to use that program, which has already been seen to be very wrong in identifying people with darker skin."

Also, a study of Georgetown Center for Privacy and Technology notes that facial recognition technology has more room for error with African-American people.

On the other hand, Aaron Peskin, member of the Board of Supervisors and in charge of drafting the regulation, argued that the use of facial recognition technology would be a step towards greater state repression.

During the debate, Peskin gave an example to China and the use of this technology to keep Muslim minorities under control. However, on other occasions this technology has served to catch terrorists, as happened at 2013 during the Boston Marathon.

Other cities in California, such as Oakland, will vote soon on this measure; For its part, the State of Massachusetts analyzes a moratorium to review the effects of this technology on security and privacy.

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