SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Responding to civil liberties groups who cast the budding technology as dangerously flawed and an invasion of privacy, California lawmakers on Wednesday approved temporarily barring law enforcement from implementing facial recognition software.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other critics of the technology want to keep law enforcement agencies from installing the software on officer body cameras until developers like Amazon and Microsoft can work out the kinks. Along with privacy concerns, the ACLU says the technology has been proven to misidentify minorities and could open them up to wrongful arrests.
The state Senate narrowly cleared the ACLU’s bill by a 22-15 margin, with two Republicans voting for the bill and six Democrats voting against. The bill headed back to the Assembly for a procedural vote, which passed Thursday 42-18. The bill heads to Governor Gavin Newsom, who has 30 days to sign or veto.
“This technology is not ready for primetime,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, the bill’s author. “It’s important to put a pause on this so people are not falsely accused, or even worse, falsely arrested.”