[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
70°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 18
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]


SACRAMENTO – At the behest of civil rights and civil liberties groups, California Democrats are pressing to ban facial recognition technology that law enforcement says could better protect nearly 40 million residents and the state’s countless tourist destinations.

Hatched from the tech industry’s home turf in Silicon Valley, the groups’ plan is to keep the facial recognition technology out of law enforcement’s arsenal. Critics say the technology turns police officers into “roving surveillance devices” and that the nascent technology is biased toward minorities.

California’s influential law enforcement lobby counters a ban on the technology in its infancy would be heavy-handed and blatantly un-Californian. Instead, the law enforcement community wants the opportunity to work with the tech industry and cities to find acceptable uses for facial recognition and biometric technology going forward.

The dispute intensified Tuesday as California Democrats voted to prohibit the use of facial recognition in body cameras, setting the proposed ban up for a final vote on the state Senate floor this summer.

Assembly Bill 1215 cleared the Assembly last month without a single Republican vote and again Tuesday in a state Senate committee.

The bill’s author, Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, told the Senate Public Safety Committee that the technology simply isn’t ready for “prime time.” He offered as proof a 2018 test conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union in which Amazon’s facial recognition product incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress with the mugshots of other people.

“What we don’t want is for communities to feel like they’re under surveillance 24 hours, 7 days a week when the officers’ body cameras are being worn,” Ting said.

During the 20-minute committee discussion on Ting’s bill, law enforcement groups tried to brush back the privacy and civil liberties concerns flagged by the bill’s proponents.

Two law enforcement lobbyists told the committee the technology isn’t currently being widely used in California and can’t be used to establish probable cause, meaning officers aren’t roaming the streets with facial recognition technology specifically looking for suspected criminals.

Cory Salzillo with the California State Sheriffs’ Association said potential beneficial uses of facial recognition could include combing through and redacting body camera footage and other investigative aspects such as identifying suspects.

“It does help tell a story,” Salzillo said. “Taking away that tool we think has consequences that don’t necessarily outweigh the perceived concerns.”

Aside from privacy and Fourth Amendment concerns, AB 1215 supporters like the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the California Public Defenders Association say the technology often misidentifies minorities and opens them up to wrongful arrests.

“Face surveillance will exasperate historical biases born of unfair police practices in black and Latinx neighborhoods,” testified Nathan Sheard, EFF grassroots advocacy organizer, using the gender-neutral version of “Latino.”

But as camera technology continues to improve so will the accuracy of facial technology, responded Darryl Lucien of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. He urged Ting to hold off on a blanket law enforcement ban and consider amendments that will allow the technology to be improved.

“We’re open to talking with the author about it, we think there’s a way to reduce fears of a police state that is going to be in continuous real-time surveillance with facial recognition technology,” Lucien said.

The budding technology also faces scrutiny in Congress, as last week the House Oversight Committee conducted a two-day hearing on the results of a three-year audit of how the federal government is using facial recognition devices. The audit found the FBI already has 640 million photos in its database yet it hasn’t fully implemented the privacy and transparency fixes recommended by the Homeland Security Government Accountability Office.

Last month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to become the first city in the United States to bar law enforcement from using facial recognition. Similar bans have already been passed in Oregon and New Hampshire.

Rather than relying on Congress or the tech industry to create safeguards, Ting and the California Democrats are moving forward with AB 1215.

“You are putting hundreds to thousands of cameras with facial recognition software that’s not accurate on our streets instantly. Without any public deliberation, without any public process and without any understanding or agreement as to what they can and cannot be used for,” Ting concluded.

— By Nick Cahill

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Aug 16, 2019
Woman Accused of Throwing Knives, Wielding Chainsaw
A Canyon Country woman stands accused of going after a family member with a chainsaw, albeit one that was turned off, after two failed attempts to hit her intended victim with steak knives she allegedly threw.
Friday, Aug 16, 2019
Narcan 2 Years Later: Still Saving SCV Lives
Proving just how necessary Narcan has become in saving the lives of SCV heroin addicts, local sheriff’s deputies dispatched Thursday for an unresponsive man feared dead in the bathroom of a Stevenson Ranch restaurant watched signs of life return to the man after paramedics administered the drug.
Friday, Aug 16, 2019
Acosta Resigns from SCV Water, Moving to El Paso
Dante Acosta, former state assemblyman, former Santa Clarita City Council member and a director of the Santa Clarita Valley Water agency board, is moving to Texas to begin a position as district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration for the El Paso region.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
1920 - Actress Maureen O'Hara born in Ireland; 1961 "Parent Trap" uses Disney Golden Oak Ranch [story]
Maureen O'Hara
If The Master's University women's volleyball team was looking for an opportunity to fold to Rocky Mountain on Thursday, it had options.
TMU Women’s Volleyball Takes Down No. 13 Rocky Mountain
The Master's University men's basketball team has signed Sam Boone, an NCAA Division 2 transfer who will add to the squad's frontcourt depth.
TMU Men’s Basketball Signs Sam Boone, NCAA D2 Transfer
A Canyon Country woman stands accused of going after a family member with a chainsaw, albeit one that was turned off, after two failed attempts to hit her intended victim with steak knives she allegedly threw.
Woman Accused of Throwing Knives, Wielding Chainsaw
Master's head coach Dan Waldeck hopes Stephanie Soares brings "immense confidence and drive" back with her after she played with the Brazilian women's national team at the Pan American Games in Peru last week.
TMU’s Stephanie Soares Wins Gold at Pan American Games
One thing volleyball player Jane Cisar appreciates about The Master's University head coach Allan Vince is his recruiting philosophy.
Vince Earns 100th Win at TMU Women’s Volleyball Coach
At nationals last year, The Master's University women's volleyball team learned what it would take to make a deep post-season run.
2019 TMU Women’s Volleyball Preview
Proving just how necessary Narcan has become in saving the lives of SCV heroin addicts, local sheriff’s deputies dispatched Thursday for an unresponsive man feared dead in the bathroom of a Stevenson Ranch restaurant watched signs of life return to the man after paramedics administered the drug.
Narcan 2 Years Later: Still Saving SCV Lives
Dante Acosta, former state assemblyman, former Santa Clarita City Council member and a director of the Santa Clarita Valley Water agency board, is moving to Texas to begin a position as district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration for the El Paso region.
Acosta Resigns from SCV Water, Moving to El Paso
Bridge to Home, the primary homeless services provider in the Santa Clarita Valley, invites the community to its premier annual fundraiser, "Soup for the Soul – Sera in Italia," at the Bella Vida senior center in Canyon Country on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m.
Oct. 12: Bridge to Home ‘Soup for the Soul’ Fundraiser
A six-run first inning for the Lake Elsinore Storm was too much for the JetHawks Thursday, as Lancaster lost 13-8 at The Hangar.
Lake Elsinore Storm Start Too Strong for JetHawks
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives seek the public’s assistance in locating Willie Paul Davis, a 70-year-old Valencia resident.
Missing: Willie Paul Davis of Valencia
Five people were hurt, two seriously, in a multi-vehicle pileup on Interstate 5 in Castaic early Friday morning, according to county fire department and CHP authorities.
Five Hurt in Early Morning Castaic Pileup
The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control will join Los Angeles television stations NBC4 and Telemundo 52 in a "Clear the Shelter" pet adoption campaign on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aug. 17: ‘Clear the Shelters’ with Pet Adoption Discounts
Two parolees from Bakersfield arrested in Valencia last week were arraigned on multiple charges including burglary on Monday, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station reported Wednesday.
Burglary Suspects Arrested After Mall Chase Are Arraigned
Painting it as an economic threat and a cruel attack on immigrants, California sued Friday to stop the Trump administration’s new "public charge rule" that allows the government to deny green cards to people relying on some forms of public assistance.
California Sues to Block Feds’ ‘Public Charge Rule’ for Green Cards
Friday air quality is unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to the latest South Coast Air Quality Management District forecast.
Friday Air Quality Unhealthy for Sensitive People
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station's COBRA Unit detained two juveniles and one adult during a gang suppression operation on Monday.
SCV Deputies Tag 3 Suspected Gang Members in Newhall
1956 - Battle of Palmdale rages over the skies of Santa Clarita [story]
airplanes
A vegetation fire near Valencia Boulevard and Interstate 5 prompted the evacuation of College of the Canyons’ Early Childhood Education Center Thursday afternoon.
Vegetation Fire Prompts Evacuation of COC’s Childhood Education Center
Would you like for a family member or caregiver to be able to call Medicare on your behalf? Would you like a way to store all your health records in one place online, so you can quickly share them with a new doctor or other healthcare provider? How about an easy way to print a new Medicare card if you lose yours? You can do all that and more by creating a free, secure MyMedicare.gov account.
Create a Personal Medicare Account | Commentary by Greg Dill
The Transfer Rules Committee held their culminating meeting Wednesday.
Message from CIF Southern Section Commissioner of Athletics
The second bond issuance of Measure E, the Santa Clarita Community College District general obligation bonds, were sold on Aug. 7, yielding $85 million to assist College of the Canyons in building out the Canyon Country campus and upgrading the Valencia campus.
Second Bond Issuance of Measure E General Obligation Bonds Yields $85M
%d bloggers like this: