Minneapolis prohibits use of facial recognition software by its police department

The Minneapolis Metropolis Council voted unanimously on Friday to approve an ordinance banning using facial recognition software program by its police division and different metropolis businesses, the Star Tribune reported. The ban provides Minneapolis to the checklist of US cities transferring to restrict or finish using such expertise by its regulation enforcement officers and metropolis workers.

However Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo mentioned in an announcement that the ban was created with out suggestions from him, and that he believes it’s attainable for facial recognition expertise to be “utilized in accordance with knowledge privateness and different citizen authorized protections,” in keeping with the Star Tribune. Facial recognition software program has been found to have age, race, and ethnic biases, and privateness advocates have raised issues about its use by regulation enforcement. Minneapolis’ ordinance created an appeals course of permitting metropolis businesses to request exemptions beneath some circumstances.

Minneapolis was the location of big public protests final summer season after considered one of its police officers killed George Floyd throughout an arrest in Could. The town council voted to disband its police department final June, however ended up reducing the department’s 2021 budget by lower than 5 p.c.

Software program made by Clearview AI —the controversial agency that has a database of some 3 billion images scraped from social media and different web sites— could be included beneath Minneapolis’ facial recognition ban. BuzzFeed News reported final 12 months that Minneapolis was one of many police departments that had entry to Clearview’s software program. Clearview also has contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Division of Homeland Safety.

Different cities have additionally carried out bans on facial recognition software program, with Portland blocking each private and non-private use of the expertise. Boston, San Francisco, and Oakland have additionally handed legal guidelines prohibiting public establishments from utilizing facial recognition, however Portland was the primary to ban non-public use.

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