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Berkeley Bans Government Face Recognition Use, Joining Other Cities

Oct. 16, 2019, 6:22 PM

Berkeley has become the fourth U.S. city to ban local government use of facial recognition technology.

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to pass the ban late Oct. 15, according to a city spokesman. It joins San Francisco, Oakland, Calif., and Somerville, Mass., in enacting such a prohibition.

Berkeley’s move comes as debate has heated up at the local, state, and federal levels over appropriate uses of facial recognition technology. Massachusetts and Michigan are among several states considering measures to restrict the technology’s use. A new California law blocks law enforcement from using facial recognition software in body cameras.

The ...