Massachusetts governor won’t sign facial recognition ban

Massachusetts governor won’t sign facial recognition ban

Massachusetts governor received’t signal facial recognition ban

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has refused to signal a legislation banning most authorities use of facial recognition. The Boston Globe reported final week that Baker despatched an omnibus police reform invoice again to state lawmakers, asking for adjustments that included hanging the facial recognition guidelines.

Massachusetts legislators handed the primary main state-level facial recognition ban, following a mannequin set by particular person cities like Boston and San Francisco. The invoice says public companies, together with police departments, can’t use or purchase biometric surveillance methods. It makes exceptions for operating facial recognition searches in opposition to a motor autos registration database, so long as police get hold of a warrant or reveal “fast hazard” that requires a search. It might assist fill a niche left by federal lawmakers, who haven’t handed a nationwide framework for utilizing probably invasive facial recognition applied sciences.

However in a letter to lawmakers, Baker mentioned the reform package deal “ignores the vital position [facial recognition] can play in fixing crime.” His workplace instructed the Globe that he plans to veto the invoice if lawmakers don’t make adjustments.

Facial recognition is only one side of the sweeping invoice, which goals to reform police techniques, coaching, and accountability. The package deal would create a brand new oversight fee to research misconduct and probably revoke officers’ licenses, and it will limit the usage of chokeholds, rubber bullets, and tear fuel. Along with the facial recognition ban, Baker objected to insurance policies like shifting police coaching oversight to a civilian-led committee.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts urged lawmakers to reject the proposed adjustments. “Governor Baker rejected an important due course of provision that might shield Massachusetts residents from unregulated police use of face surveillance expertise, which has been confirmed to unfairly goal Black and brown folks, resulting in the arrest of harmless folks. Unchecked police use of surveillance expertise additionally harms everybody’s rights to anonymity, privateness, and free speech,” mentioned govt director Carol Rose.

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