Sacramento, California—On Tuesday, June 11, at 8:30 am, EFF Grassroots Advocacy Organizer Nathan Sheard will testify before the California Senate Public Safety Committee in support of a measure to prohibit law enforcement from using facial recognition in body cams.

Following San Francisco’s historic ban on police use of the technology—which can invade privacy, chill free speech and disproportionately harm already marginalized communities—California lawmakers are considering AB 1215, proposed legislation that would extend the ban across the state.

Face recognition technology has been shown to have disproportionately high error rates for women, the elderly, and people of color. Making matters worse, law enforcement agencies often rely on images pulled from mugshot databases. This exacerbates historical biases born of, and contributing to, over-policing in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors and other Bay Area communities have decided that police should be stopped from using the technology on the public.

The utilization of face recognition technology in connection with police body cameras would force Californians to decide between actively avoiding interaction and cooperation with law enforcement, or having their images collected, analyzed, and stored as perpetual candidates for suspicion, Sheard will tell lawmakers.

Hearing before the California Senate Public Safety Committee on SB 1215

EFF Grassroots Advocacy Organizer Nathan Sheard

Tuesday, July 11, 8:30 am

California State Capitol
10th and L Streets
Room 3191
Sacramento, CA  95814