Facial recognition technology ban passed by King County Council

Monday, June 7, 2021

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER
on Unsplash
A groundbreaking proposal to ban government use of facial recognition software has been passed by the King County Council. 

It was approved Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 9-0.

King County, home to 2.3 million people in and around Seattle, becomes the first county and one of the largest jurisdictions in the United States to pass such a ban.

The legislation, prime sponsored by Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, aims to protect our residents’ civil liberties and freedom from government surveillance and demographic biases by prohibiting the use of such software, including by the King County Sheriff, except to comply with the National Child Search Assistance Act.

Studies have found that facial recognition software is often far more likely to misidentify Black or Asian faces, especially Black women.




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