California bans police from using facial recognition body cameras

California bans police from using facial recognition body cameras

The Body Camera Accountability Act, which bans police from using body cameras with facial recognition in the state, has been signed into law.

AB 1215, The Body Camera Accountability Act, was introduced earlier this year by Calif. assembly member, Phil Tang. Both San Francisco and Oakland have previously passed similar bills preventing the use of facial recognition tech by law enforcement agencies, but this is the first time the ban has gone state-wide.

In Canada, back in May of this year, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association claimed that the Toronto Police force had secretly obtained a facial recognition system. However, Toronto Police subsequently released a statement saying they had lawfully obtained the system.

Additionally, Canadian federal MPs from all parties responded to San Francisco’s facial recognition ban, requesting that some form of facial recognition tech legislation should be considered in Canada.

The government of Canada has since launched the Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence to better monitor and research the new technology.

With the rise of public privacy concerns over this new tech, and with facial recognition technology deployments, such as the one at King’s Cross, London UK, being the focus of a large-scale backlash from official bodies and the public alike – it will be interesting to see if other US states and Canada follow suit.