San Francisco, the city, known as & # 39; the world's technical capital, has postponed the approval of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies in the city. The otherwise tech-friendly city has turned its back on one of the most innovative technologies of the 21st century. After an anonymous vote, San Francisco city administrators who acted as councilors of the city, banned police and government departments from using face recognition. The adoption of innovative surveillance technology was basically stopped by eight of the eleven board members who voted in favor of the anti-surveillance proposition. One member of the supervisors voted against and two of the members did not exercise their voting rights because they were not present. The San Francisco new rule will be enforced at some point next month.
How is facial recognition technology currently being used?
Face recognition technology, known for helping companies and government agencies to identify a person from a digital image or a frame of video images, is most commonly used at concerts, sporting events, schools, shopping malls and even airports. Last year pop singer Taylor Swift made the headlines by scanning the faces of her audience during a concert in Los Angeles. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the singer took such powerful safety measures to help her with stalkers. Recently, a Jet Blue has expanded the use of face recognition technology and has allowed passengers to board on multiple occasions without needing identification documents. Some passengers took it to social media and shared their experiences freely through the gates by simply looking into a camera equipped with the advanced technology.
While such use of technology is aimed at reducing the hassle of travel and helping organizations to better protect people's lives, face recognition is the first steps and the technology is not even perfect. According to the Department of Homeland Security, facial recognition technology is probably almost fully implemented for air travel by 2023. Although this sounds like a scene from a dystopian science fiction TV program and certainly has clear benefits, it is the new person-identifying capabilities of government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and companies pose a major privacy risk.
Why does San Francisco prohibit facial recognition technology?
It is undoubtedly intriguing to see one of the most technologically friendly cities in the world, so openly hostile to technological innovation. What is the reasoning behind the decision of the city council of supervisors? Quote from CNN, San Francisco Board Supervisor Aaron Peskin, stated that board members support all legal police practices, but the board wants to prevent San Francisco from becoming a police state. The new regulation, voted by the members of the city, confirms that it does not prevent individuals or companies from using such software in the city – citizens can share video footage of crime scenes. However, the San Francisco administration is not yet ready to give so many of the 53 government departments so much power. Other cities are expected to follow the example of the city famous for the Golden Gate Bridge.
Power comes with great responsibility – San Francisco may have banned the technology because it is still imperfect, but face recognition will be used by anyone willing to pay for it. And if the government is not the one who will benefit from this technology, many private companies will. Ticketmaster foresees that one day you no longer need a ticket, but your face to get a concert. Whatever happens, we hope that such information will be used with caution and strongly regulated.