IBIA Rallies Against San Francisco Facial Recognition Ban

“The IBIA is not alone in taking issue with the ban; after the legislation passed its Board vote, an advocacy group called Stop Crime SF issued a statement insisting that the ban could have been a moratorium, since facial recognition technology shows considerable potential as a crime-fighting tool. “

IBIA Rallies Against San Francisco Facial Recognition Ban

The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) is weighing in on San Francisco’s move to ban the municipal use of facial recognition, and is decidedly not in favor of it.

The ban was first proposed in January, and recently passed an initial vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, eight to one. The legislation will go through one more vote from this body, and then to the mayor to be signed into law.

The legislation bans municipal agencies from using facial recognition technology, though it does not apply to face scanning at the airport, which is under federal control.

Commenting on the move in a press release, the IBIA acknowledges that government use of facial recognition technology entails “matters of opinion on which reasonable people may disagree,” but insists that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ move to ban it “did not follow a transparent and thorough process” considering the various advantages of the technology and potential safeguards that could be put in place.

“The section of the Ordinance banning the use of facial recognition is misguided and unfounded, because it failed to take into account all relevant factors in making its critical decision,” the IBIA writes. “It should be repealed and the issue reexamined.”

The IBIA is not alone in taking issue with the ban; after the legislation passed its Board vote, an advocacy group called Stop Crime SF issued a statement insisting that the ban could have been a moratorium, since facial recognition technology shows considerable potential as a crime-fighting tool. Nevertheless, the ban appears to be part of a larger trend in California, with Oakland and the state Assembly having recently explored initiatives to restrict the use of facial recognition.

(Originally posted on FindBiometrics)