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Massachusetts lawmakers vote to pass a statewide police ban on facial recognition

Massachusetts governor won’t sign police reform bill with facial recognition ban

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has returned a police reform invoice again to the state legislature, asking lawmakers to strike out a number of provisions — together with one for a statewide ban on police and public authorities utilizing facial recognition know-how, the primary of its form within the United States.

The invoice, which additionally banned police from utilizing rubber bullets and tear gasoline, was handed on December 1 by each the state’s House and Senate after senior lawmakers overcame months of impasse to succeed in a consensus. Lawmakers introduced the invoice to the state legislature within the wake of the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, later charged together with his homicide.

Baker stated in a letter to lawmakers that he objected to the ban, saying the usage of facial recognition helped to convict a number of criminals, together with a toddler intercourse offender and a double assassin.

In an interview with The Boston Globe, Baker stated that he’s “not going to signal one thing that’s going to ban facial recognition.”

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Under the invoice, police and public businesses throughout the state can be prohibited from utilizing facial recognition, with a single exception to run facial recognition searches in opposition to the state’s driver license database with a warrant. The state can be required to publish annual transparency figures on the variety of searches made by officers going ahead.

The Massachusetts House voted to go by 92-67, and the Senate voted 28-12 — neither of which had been veto-proof majorities.

The Boston Globe stated that Baker didn’t outright say he would veto the invoice. After the legislature palms a revised (or the identical) model of the invoice again to the governor, it’s as much as Baker to signal it, veto it or — below Massachusetts regulation, he might enable it to turn into regulation with out his signature by ready 10 days.

“Unchecked police use of surveillance know-how additionally harms everybody’s rights to anonymity, privateness, and free speech. We urge the legislature to reject Governor Baker’s modification and to make sure passage of commonsense rules of presidency use of face surveillance,” stated Carol Rose, government director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

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A spokesperson for Baker’s workplace didn’t instantly return a request for remark.

Massachusetts lawmakers vote to go a statewide police ban on facial recognition

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