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Facial Recognition Tech Talks continue

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 08, 2021

BALTIMORE — Baltimore is one step closer to joining cities like Minneapolis, Oakland and Boston in banning facial recognition technology.

You can see cameras throughout Baltimore but the question looms what they're capturing and the purpose of it's footage.

The city council voted to advance a bill that temporarily bans facial recognition technology in Baltimore Tuesday evening.

"There have been several high profile misidentifications of people of color using this software where peoples lives were turned inside out," said Baltimore District
8 councilman Kristerfer Burnett.

He tells us facial recognition technology first gained criticism when it was deployed during protests back in 2015 but no action was ever taken on it until now.

Opponents of the bill argued that it would take away from banks' ability to track fraud and hotels' ability to prevent human trafficking on their property.

Studies showed, according to a report, among different algorithms, there was a dramatic difference in false matching between Asians and Whites.

Another study showed false matching was much higher in Black women as well.

"There are these real concerns about deploying technology that is shown to have bias built into how it operates and what that could actually mean for people’s lives," said Burnett.

Now, law enforcement agencies and private companies city wide would still have their right to use the technology for monitoring traffic and security purposes.

The bill calls for a pause at the city level until they get more answers regarding how the data is shared and if its violating the privacy of public citizens.

There's another vote on the bill's future on Monday.