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Jerusalem Police blocked from facial recognition use at Pride March

Jerusalem Police blocked from facial recognition use at Pride March

Jerusalem Police requested to use live facial recognition to monitor the city’s gay March for Pride and Tolerance following threats of violence, when the request was ruled overly broad, Haaretz reports.

While the police have denied using facial recognition, the request confirms that they have the technology ready for use, according to Haaretz.

The request was made in the context of an Israeli man being arrested after sending death threats to a Pride March organizer and a lawmaker who publicly expressed support for the event, but had been opposed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

A gay pride parade planned for the town on Netivot was cancelled after the mother of an organizer was threated and had her windows smashed, leading to two arrests.

Barred from using facial recognition, Jerusalem Police deployed thousands of officers to the event, the report says.

More than 7,000 people attended the event, and ten people were arrested, reports The Times of Israel.

Lawmakers in Israel sought last year to grant police greater freedom to use facial recognition, but the bill failed to advance before the legislative session ended. A similar bill is currently being promoted, but has not yet been submitted for debate in the Knesset.

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