Recently in August, the advocates of California’s Body Camera Accountability Act pointed towards a test of facial recognition software that convicted 26 of state legislators as criminals.

Phil Ting, one of the falsely identified people, says, “Reinforces the fact that facial recognition software is not ready for prime time – let alone for use in body cameras worn by law enforcement.” He added, “While we can laugh about it as legislators, it’s no laughing matter if you’re an individual trying to get a job, trying to get a home. If you’re falsely accused, what happens? It impacts your ability to get a job, to get housing. There are real people that this can impact.

The supporters argued that owing to these flaws, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB1215 into law. This law has prevented the State’s law enforcement from “installing, activating, or using any biometric surveillance system in connection with an officer camera or data collected by an officer camera”.

Phil Ting, who is also the sponsor of the bill regarding the bill, said on his twitter, “A win for civil liberties! The Governor signed my bill, #AB1215, which bans CA law enforcement from using facial recognition tech in body cameras for 3 years. It’s not ready for prime time, as it falsely matches innocent people with mugshots, including me.

Matt Cagle, ACLU technology and civil liberties attorney, also took to twitter as he supported the law saying, “With this law, California has acted boldly to stem the expansion of a surveillance state that presents an unprecedented threat to our rights and liberties. ace-scanning police body cameras have no place on our streets, where they can be used for dragnet and discriminatory surveillance of people going about their private lives, including their locations and personal associations.” Further, he added “BREAKING: California’s Governor just signed a landmark bill preventing facial recognition & other biometric surveillance on police body cameras. This is a huge victory for civil rights! #AB1215″

Harsh Vardhan

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