[REGIONAL NEW] San Francisco is first U.S. city to ban police use of facial recognition technology

Backers of the ban say facial recognition threatens civil liberties. /Photograph: Alamy

Supervisors vote eight to one to restrict surveillance: ‘We can have security without being a security state’

By Kari Paul and agencies | The Guardian

San Francisco supervisors have voted to make the city the first in the United States to ban police and other government agencies from using facial recognition technology.

Supervisors voted eight to one in favor of the “Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance”, which will also strengthen existing oversight measures and will require city agencies to disclose current inventories of surveillance technology.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who championed the legislation, said: “This is really about saying: ‘We can have security without being a security state. We can have good policing without being a police state.’ And part of that is building trust with the community based on good community information, not on Big Brother technology.”

Two supervisors were absent for Tuesday’s vote. The board of supervisors is expected to vote on the new rules a second time next week, when they are expected to pass again.

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