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San Francisco Bans Face ID
News Bytes 05/16/2019 19 Comments

No pictures, please! San Francisco supervisors voted Tuesday to ban the use of facial recognition software by police and other city departments. That makes the City by the Bay the first in the United States to outlaw the rapidly developing technology.

Sure, “the eyes of the Lord are in every place,” (Proverbs 15:3) but many people are nervous about the eyes of the police or other authorities being everywhere too. San Francisco’s ban is part of legislation that requires city departments to obtain approval for surveillance technology—even for what they’re currently using.

“This [ban] is really about saying: ‘We can have good policing without being a police state.’ And part of that is building trust with the community based on good community information, not on Big Brother technology,” says Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

The ban applies to San Francisco police and other community departments. It does not affect use by the federal government at airports and ports or limit personal or business use.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation chided San Francisco for considering the facial recognition ban. It says the technology makes it cheaper and faster for police to find suspects and identify missing people.

Those who support the ban say the technology is flawed and a serious threat to civil liberties. They worry people won’t be able to go to a mall, park, or school without being identified and tracked.

But critics say police need all the help they can get, especially in a city with high-profile events and high rates of property crime. Expecting privacy in public spaces is unreasonable given the abundance of cellphones and surveillance cameras, says Meredith Serra, a member of a resident public safety group. She says, “The ordinance seems to be a costly additional layer of bureaucracy that really does nothing to improve the safety of our citizens.”

(Demonstrators hold images of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos near their faces during a protest at Amazon headquarters over the company’s facial recognition system in Seattle. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

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Most recent comments


Why did they draw those things on Jeff Bezos' face?

I think the police should get

I think the police should get ALL the help they can get!

@Bethsarah G

I think that they are trying to be rude and comparing him to a devil.

Oh, boy. All of this arguing

Oh, boy. All of this arguing could get bad...

Oh my!

Oh my! People aren't very nice so times...……. The police sure could use the help...…..

Oh no...

With out pictures or anything to identify people, crime could really reach a dangerous level! @ Bethsarah; I was wondering the same thing.


I think that the people who support the ban just don't want to be held accountable for any wrongdoing that might be going on. Personally, the facial recognition sounds like a good idea to me.

To above

What do you mean?

Garrett v

In such a big city police need help like that. they should allow facial ID


I think that facial recognition is dangerous and that this could possibly be a good idea, but I'm not sure.


I think they should have facial recognition because it really helps the police stop crime.


I think that the police should have facial recognition if you are seen doing suspicious thing and they can catch you on camera if not......who knows!
I think what they rote on those posters is very rude and disrespectful.

To Above

if I understand correctly they are limiting the use of facial recognition of the police.

To Above

just so you know my brother dangerously cut himself with a butter knife!! ; ) No kidding!

Isaiah B.

You don't sound pro-Hillary=D

Karisma S

Honestly, unless you've committed a crime, you should have no fear of facial recognition.

To Above

Yes, I agree.


whats going on i don't get it

To Above

they are trying to ban facial Identification from the police.

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