Worcester, Massachusetts joined many other cities in the state and nationally this week in banning the use of face recognition government technology.
The city council voted this week on an ordinance banning the city government from using or acquiring facial recognition technology. This technology has been fiercely criticized for Its documented racial prejudice, and calls for a national ban have been growing for years.
Worcester’s vote makes the city the 8th municipality in Massachusetts to ban facial recognition, according to WGBH. Boston passed the ban last June, while other cities including San Francisco, Oakland and Portland have also instituted bans.
Meanwhile, King County, Washington — the largest county in the state—passed the ban this early year.
Other Massachusetts cities that have banned the technology include Brookline, Cambridge, Easthampston, Northampton, Springfield and Somerville.
Councilor Khrystian King said to Telegraph & Gazette The ordinance was passed because of the undue impact of technology on people of color.
“Facial recognition technology was found to misidentify suspects and to do so disproportionately. Black women are often mislabeled as men, and black men are often misidentified as a threat,” King said, according to the news agency. “This ordinance will ensure due process and a high degree of government oversight.”
The Massachusetts division of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says Worcester’s ban means that nearly 1.5 million residents in the state are currently covered by a facial recognition ban.
“We applaud the city manager of Worcester and the city council for taking this reasonable and necessary step to protect city residents from intrusive tracking using secretive and often routine facial monitoring technology. prejudice,” Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Freedom Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement.
Read more about facial recognition
* First published: December 16, 2021, 10:01 a.m. CST
Andrew Wyrich is the Daily Dot’s deputy technology editor. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Association of Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/facial-recognition-ban-worcester-massachusetts/ Worcester, Massachusetts votes to ban facial recognition