Democratic state Sen. Brad Hoylman on Monday introduced a bill that would ban the use of facial recognition software and biometric surveillance by law enforcement in New York.
The bill comes after The New York Times revealed this month an app licensed to law enforcement agencies around the country, called Clearview AI, has scrapped millions of photos from social media sites.
Facial recognition technology has come under scrutiny for both its invasiveness as well as its false positives, especially for people of color.
“Facial recognition technology threatens to end every New Yorker’s ability to walk down the street anonymously," Hoylman said. "In the wrong hands, this technology presents a chilling threat to our privacy and civil liberties – especially when evidence shows this technology is less accurate when used on people of color, and transgender, non-binary and non-conforming people.
"New York must take action to regulate this increasingly pervasive and dangerously powerful technology, before it’s too late.”
The bill would block law enforcement agencies, including the state police, from using biometric surveillance in the course of their normal duties. The measure does not restrict the use of DNA databases by law enforcement or fingerprints.