Oakland city leaders unanimously approve ban on facial recognition tech

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OAKLAND (KRON) — Oakland’s city council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday night that bans the use of facial recognition technology by city agencies, including law enforcement.

Oakland joins San Francisco in passing legislation that bans use of the surveillance technology.

San Francisco was the first city to pass such legislation back in May.

Oakland’s ordinance is similar to San Francisco’s.

It was first introduced in May by City Council President Rebecca Kaplan.

In a draft of the legislation, Kaplan said:

Face recognition technology runs the risk of making Oakland residents less safe as the misidentification of individuals could lead to the misuse of force, false incarceration, and minority-based persecution.

Government agencies in the U.S. have used such technology for years to search databases for suspects, according to the Associated Press.

Supporters of the ban say the technology is invasive and facilitates bias while operating out of public site and gathering data.

Those against the ban say the technology helps catch criminals.

While Oakland’s ban was passed with full support of the city council, San Francisco’s ordinance passed one vote shy of unanimity.

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