California lawmakers are calling for a ban on the use of facial recognition software in body-worn police cameras, warning that embracing such technology could put lives at risk.
The use of face-scanning products by Californian law enforcement was firmly condemned during a press conference in support of AB 1215 that was spearheaded by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles).
If passed, the Body Camera Accountability Act would outlaw California law enforcement from adding face and other biometric surveillance technology to officer-worn body cameras. To back up their rhetoric, the two lawmakers brought more than words. They brought evidence.
Alongside the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Ting and Jones-Sawyer revealed a test of recognition software made by Amazon had been conducted on 120 legislators. Their faces were run through a public database of 25,000 suspect mugshots—resulting in 26 false matches. Ting and Jones-Sawyer revealed that they were both misidentified in the fresh round of testing.
The demonstration, which used the Jeff Bezos-owned technology giant’s product “Rekognition,” had similar results to a study completed last year that mistakenly identified 28 members of Congress as people who had previously been arrested