May 15, (Xinhua/GNA) - San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to
prohibit facial recognition technology by government agencies in what advocates
said aims to better protect people's privacy.
legislation, which was passed on Tuesday with an 8-1 vote by San Francisco's
Board of Supervisors, will block city agencies, including the police
department, from the use of facial recognition technology.
The bill was
introduced by San Francisco Supervisor from District 3 Aaron Peskin, who said
the legislation aimed to ensure the safe and responsible use of surveillance
Francisco just became the first city in the country to ban #facialrecognition
surveillance. Part of being the real & perceived headquarters for all
things tech also comes with a responsibility for its legislators to regulate
its excesses," he tweeted.
The new measure
will require government departments to seek prior approval for acquiring new
The ban will
not apply to private companies, personal deployment at homes or federal
restrictions on the use of surveillance equipment in public places have been
pushed for by several advocacy groups including the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a nonprofit organization that claims to defend civil liberties in
the digital world and champion user privacy.
use of many surveillance technologies, and especially face surveillance, can
invade privacy and chill free speech," it said on its official website.
supporting the ban also included the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of
hailed the groups for their support for his effort to bring the bill to the
city's Board of Supervisors.
success of San Francisco's #FacialRecognition ban is owed to a vast grassroots
coalition that has advocated for similar policies around the Bay Area for
years," Peskin tweeted.