Massachusetts city bans facial recognition technology

June 28, 2019 GMT

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (AP) — A Boston suburb has voted to ban the use of facial recognition technology by police and other city departments.

The Somerville City Council on Thursday voted 11-0 to bar the technology that critics say invades privacy and can often be wrong.

Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen, the sponsor of the measure, said its passage is a “reminder that we are in charge of our own society.”

The measure now goes to Mayor Joseph Curtatone, who has said he supports it.

Ewen-Campen worked on the issue with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU, says Somerville is the first East Coast city to prohibit government use of the technology.

San Francisco last month became the first city in the nation to ban the technology.