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EFF launches campaign for local bans on government use of facial recognition



The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a campaign to empower people in the U.S. working against the use of facial recognition by government agencies in their communities.

The “About Face” campaign provides a petition and resources, including draft legislation to ban government agency use of facial biometrics for local adaptation. In its announcement, the organization makes an argument about the potential for ubiquitous surveillance to discourage legal behavior.

The campaign page, however, relies much more heavily on an argument that facial recognition is not accurate, particularly for women, young people, and ethnic minorities.

“Regardless of your race or gender—and even if these disparate error rates were addressed—face surveillance must be stopped to protect our communities,” the EFF argues.

When 100 people from a particular city sign the EFF’s petition, the group will work with local partners to being the position to area lawmakers.

A bill introduced last week in the New Jersey State Senate would ban New Jersey government agencies, law enforcement, and officials of the state, from using facial technology recognition and other remote biometric recognition unless certain requirements were met.

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