Minneapolis City Council bans Facial Recognition Software – In the latest round of news, the city of Minneapolis has voted Friday to officially ban the Minneapolis Police Department from the use of facial recognition software. Having recently approved the ordinance on the ban, a 13-member alliance of the city council voted in favor of the ban, with no opposition.
This has now put Minneapolis among a growing the list of major cities that have implemented local restrictions on the controversial technology.
The consequence of this new ban is guaranteed to steer controversies especial the relationship with Clearview AI. Clearview AI is alleged to be selling access to a large database of facial images, many scraped from major social networks, to federal law enforcement agencies, private companies and a number of U.S. police departments.
This vote and ban comes on the heels of the recent racial justice protests after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd last year. Since then, Minneapolis has led the nation in targeted police reforms.
For many, this ban on the use of facial recognition is one targeted measure that can rein in emerging concerns about aggressive policing. The effectiveness and efficiency of the AI-powered face recognition systems has been repeatedly questioned. The tech has been demonstrated to have technical shortcomings in discerning non-white faces thus, disproportionately targeting communities of color.
Finally, more cities in the country are already in the process or considering banning the use of facial recognition software.
In Portland, Oregon for example, some new laws passed in 2020 blocks the city bureaus from using facial recognition systems and also banned private companies from using the technology in public spaces.