Face Recognition Is Being Banned
But it's still everywhere
In November, voters n Bellingham, Washington, passed a ballot measure banning government use of face recognition technology. It added to a streak of such laws that started with San Francisco in 2019 and now number around two dozen.
The spread of such bans has inspired hope from campaigners and policy experts of a turn against an artificial intelligence technology that can lead to invasions of privacy or even wrongful arrest. Such feelings got a boost when Facebook unexpectedly announced on the day of the Bellingham vote that it would shutter its own face recognition system for identifying people in photos and videos, due to “growing societal concerns.”
Yet a few months earlier and about 100 miles from Bellingham, the commission that runs Seattle-Tacoma International Airport passed its own face recognition restrictions that leave airlines free to use the technology for functions like bag drop and check in, although it promised to provide some oversight and barred the technology's use by port police. SeaTac is one of 200 US airports where U.S. Customs and Border Protection uses face recognition to check traveler identities.
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