Minneapolis to ban the use of facial recognition software by law enforcement

Last Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to approve an order that would ban the use of facial recognition software by its police department and other city agencies.

Indeed, facial recognition software has been found to have age, race, and ethnic biases. Besides, privacy advocates vocalized their concerns regarding its use by law enforcement.

Hence, the ordinance is calling for an appeal process that would allow city agencies to request exemptions under certain circumstances. Software such as the ones made by Clearview AI, which already caused some controversy, would be part of the ban.

Yet, the Minneapolis police chief declared that this ban was put into place without his consent and stated that facial recognition could also be used in accordance with data privacy and other citizen legal protections.

Minneapolis is then to become one of many US cities that is starting to limit or end the use of facial recognition technology by its law enforcement officers and city employees in order to keep the citizens safe. Other cities have done so, such as Portland, which is blocking public and private use of the technology, or even Boston and San Francisco, which have voted laws against the use of facial recognition by public institutions.