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Maryland General Assembly backing limits on police facial recognition tech.

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TLDR:

Key Points:

  • A plan to limit police use of facial recognition technology is gaining support in the Maryland General Assembly.
  • The bill aims to regulate the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies to prevent abuse and protect against biases.

In a multiyear effort, the Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill that would restrict police use of facial recognition technology. The proposed legislation, supported by both law enforcement and public defenders, would allow police to use facial recognition technology only when investigating violent crimes and other serious offenses. This bill seeks to regulate the technology in law enforcement, addressing concerns about potential misuse and biases against Black and brown people.

Some Maryland law enforcement agencies have been using facial recognition technology for over a decade, leading to instances of misidentification and controversy. In response to these issues, lawmakers are pushing for more transparency and safeguards in the use of this technology. The bill would require law enforcement agencies to disclose the use of facial recognition during discovery, provide specific data on its usage, and limit its use to certain types of crimes.

While the bill has gained support for its attempt to regulate facial recognition technology, some experts believe it does not go far enough to address bias and potential misuse. They argue that stricter regulations, including addressing algorithm bias and requiring ongoing training for law enforcement, are necessary to protect civil liberties and prevent inequalities in the criminal justice system.

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