From Assemblymember Phil Ting

Are You Next?

Facial recognition technology is not ready for prime time. Case in point: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently ran the photos of all 120 California lawmakers against an arrest database, and the software incorrectly matched mugshots with 26 legislators, including me - even though I have never been arrested. Even more disturbing, more than half of the falsely identified were people of color.

A similar test was conducted using the pictures of members of Congress, and that, too, produced false matches. 28 of them. Given the mistakes and apparent bias, the results from this experiment reinforce the need for AB 1215, my proposal to ban law enforcement from adding facial recognition and other biometric scanners to body-worn cameras. I could see innocent Californians subjected to perpetual police line-ups because of faulty technology. We cannot let this happen.

Furthermore, body cameras are tools to increase police accountability and transparency. The addition of facial recognition programs essentially transforms body cameras into 24-hour surveillance tools without our consent. That's not the California we want.

If my colleagues and I were mistakenly flagged as suspects, could you be next? I'm almost across the finish line with a key vote on AB 1215 coming up soon in the Senate. I hope to count on your support.



Phil Ting
Assemblymember, 19th District

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