‘Last Monday night, the Cambridge City Council passed a measure banning facial recognition technology in the city. The growing movement to prohibit the use of facial recognition at the state and local levels could hinder the operation of a growing national facial recognition network.
Cambridge Mayor McGovern, along with Councilors Craig Kelley and Sumbul Siddiqui, proposed the ban last summer in a resolution. The amendment to the Surveillance Technology Ordinance passed last year prohibits any city department from intentionally accessing or using face recognition technology. It also bars the use of any information obtained from such technology.
The amendment passed 9-0.
McGovern announced the passage to the measure in a tweet.
“Cambridge joins a small but growing number of cities who are stepping up to protect residents from intrusive and undemocratic technology.”
Cambridge became the fourth Massachusetts city to pass a ban on facial recognition technology, joining Northampton, Brookline and Somerville. The city of Springfield is considering a similar ban, and there are also bills moving through the Massachusetts state legislature to place a statewide moratorium on facial recognition technology.
Efforts in Massachusetts make up part of a broader nationwide movement to limit this invasive surveillance technology at the local and state level. San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. have all prohibited government use of facial recognition technology, The California governor recently signed a bill that imposes a 3-year ban on the use of the tech in conjunction with police body-worn cameras, leading to the shutdown of one of the biggest facial recognition programs in the country. The New York Assembly is considering a bill to ban facial recognition in schools and on police body cameras.’