A lawmaker in San Francisco is issuing legislation this week that might make the city the first in the country to prohibit the government employment of facial recognition tech. The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance, planned to be rolled out by supervisor Aaron Peskin, will need divisions in the city to look for approval from the Board of Supervisors before buying or using surveillance tech. This is a check that other towns have already started applying. The legislation will also make yearly audits of surveillance tech to make sure the tools are used properly.
If sanctioned, the ordinance will also make a blanket ban that curbs those divisions from using or buying facial recognition tech. The rule, which will also be applicable to law enforcement, will represent a new measure in the fight over the powerful tech. The proposal follows at a valuable time for facial recognition technology. In spite of documented problems of bias and error, federal regulation of the tech has been vague.
On a related note, being the first time in history of Olympics, Tokyo 2020 will employ facial recognition technology to elevate security all over areas, claimed the organizers this week to the media in an interview. Games organizers have connected up with NEC (the Japanese information technology and telecommunications behemoth) to design the first system of this type to be used at an Olympics.
The tech, which was showcased at an event to the media in the Japanese capital, will employ IC processors within identification cards to automatically confirm the identity of those making an entry in more than 40 venues. Over 300,000 games staff and athletes will have to provide pictures of themselves to a database before the Olympics begin in July 2020.
“Each time they make an entry in the facility, they have to perform a security check,” clarified Tsuyoshi Iwashita, head of security for Tokyo 2020, to the media in an interview.