California’s statehouse is considering a controversial facial recognition bill

published 03.06.2020 18:46

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As protestors square off against police across the country, California is readying a bill that could expand the state’s use of facial recognition, including for law enforcement purposes.

Introduced as Assembly Bill 2261, the bill would provide a framework by which companies and government agencies could legally engage in facial recognition, provided they give prior notice.

Ed Chau, the assemblyman who introduced the bill, called it “the long overdue solution to regulate the use of facial recognition technology by commercial, state and local public entities,” in an editorial for CalMatters on Tuesday.

But critics — including the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California — say the bill will only expand the use of the technology further.

“The bill would invite the use of facial recognition to deny health care, housing, financial products, and basic necessities,” said Matt Cagle, attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, told The Verge.