Local Law Enforcement Now Bound by California's Facial Recognition Ban

As of Jan. 1, law enforcement agencies across the state are prohibited from using facial recognition technology for a period of three years.

In October, Senate Bill 1215 was signed into law, banning police and deputies from using the technology. Some local governments like Oakland had already put a stop to the practice.

There are several reasons behind the ban. In addition to privacy concerns, a federal study found that the technology is more likely to misidentify people of color. But many law enforcement officials claim it was an excellent crime-fighting tool and that its absence will be an impediment to public safety.

The law is already being felt in San Diego County, which has one of the largest facial recognition programs. The Tactical Identification System (TACIDS), administered by the San Diego Association of Governments, conducts 25,000 scans a year. That program has now been placed on hold


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