Facial recognition is making a comeback as bans to thwart the technology and curb racial bias in policing are under threat amid a crime surge and lobbying from developers. Virginia in July will eliminate a prohibition on police use of facial recognition a year after approving it. California and New Orleans month could be next,
Reuters reports. New Orleans homicides rose 67 percent over the last two years compared with the two years before, and police say they need every possible tool. "Technology is needed to solve these crimes and to hold individuals accountable," said Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.
Efforts to put bans in place are meeting resistance in jurisdictions from New York and Colorado to West Lafayette, In. Vermont, the last state with a near-100 percent ban against police facial-recognition use, allowed the technology for investigating child sex crimes.bFrom 2019 through 2021, two dozen state or local governments restricted facial recognition. Studies found the technology less effective in identifying Black people. Research by the federal National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has shown significant industrywide progress in accuracy. Department of Homeland Security testing last month found little variation in accuracy across skin tone and gender.