Oakland city council wants to ban government use of facial recognition

LifeStyle Technology

The Oakland city council has voted last night to pass an ordinance banning city agencies from using facial recognition technology. Oakland is the third city in the United States to pass similar legislation.

Under the ordinance, which passed unanimously, municipal agencies, including city police, will be banned from obtaining or using the controversial technology. The Oakland City Council will take a second vote on the ordinance in September, but it is seen as procedural.

San Francisco, as well as Somerville, Massachusetts, have already passed similar legislation earlier this year.

The legislation has been pressed by civil rights advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union. In a statement, Matt Cagle, technology and civil liberties attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, described the vote as a win for city accountability.

Cagle said: “These decisions should be made as Somerville, San Francisco, and now Oakland just made by the public, including the communities that will be most impacted, through an affirmative vote by their elected representatives.”

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