San Francisco Bans City Departments from Using Facial Recognition Technology

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San Francisco city hall.
San Francisco City Hall.  (jivedanson/Flickr)

A vote to ban municipal use of facial recognition technology in San Francisco passed 8-1 by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. The ban, the first for a major U.S. city, includes the county sheriff's department and city police but does not bar individuals or businesses from using the technology. City agencies will also be required to gain approval before acquiring automatic license plate readers or other types of surveillance technology. Critics of the technology say it violates privacy and is biased against people of color, while supporters say it is a useful tool for law enforcement. We'll discuss the ban and take up the debate.


Daniel Castro, vice president, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Aaron Peskin, member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors;