Alameda will be the next city to ban facial-recognition software

The Alameda City Council will decide Tuesday night whether to become the latest in a growing list of municipalities that are choosing to ban the use of facial-recognition software in surveillance cameras.

In May, San Francisco became the first major city in the U.S. to prohibit the inclusion of facial-recognition software in city’s security cameras. Privacy advocates believe the artificial intelligence technology could be abused and also falsely target minorities and women.

Oakland quickly followed with its own ban last July, which also includes the Oakland Police Department. Neighboring Alameda appears to be next.

“The use of face recognition technology has the potential to be intrusive and impactful on residents, workers and visitors privacy in the community, resulting in the need to clearly state the City’s position on the use of this kind of technology,” according to a proposed resolution before councilmembers on Tuesday night.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill last October that bans facial-recognition software from police body-cameras. But the legislation, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, sunsets in three years.

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