May 21, 2020 - 5:00pm PDT

The Path to Privacy: Stopping Face Surveillance in California

Every technology used for government surveillance raises a thicket of difficult questions: Should it be adopted at all? What are the benefits and the costs? If it is adopted, who will be targeted? Will it actually make us safer? 

Face surveillance makes us less safe and less free.

There is historical precedent for what we're facing in this moment of public health crisis. Following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, a massive surveillance apparatus was created that significantly eroded Americans' rights and privacy on a scale never seen before. Two decades later, we're still fighting the government spying programs of the 9/11 era, including unacceptable xenophobic mass surveillance. The technological infrastructure we build in this moment matters. We need an infrastructure of care, not harmful surveillance.

Surveillance technology vendors are already using this moment to promote surveillance products, even when they do more harm than good. Face recognition systems—already being used elsewhere to deport immigrants, criminalize the unhoused, and facilitate mass incarceration—endanger the very Californians most vulnerable to our current public health crisis. 

On May 21, join representatives from the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, MediaJustice, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for an online event discussing the risks presented by face surveillance and what Californians can do to protect their communities and loved ones. 

Moderator: Hayley Tsukayama (EFF)


Have questions now? Send them to

This event will be live-streamed via Twitch, where you can chat and ask questions. It will also be streaming on Facebook Live and YouTube Live. (For Twitch's Privacy Policy, see here.) 

A recording will be made available. 

Event Time: Thursday, May 21, 5:00 PM Pacific / 8:00 PM Eastern (check your local time here)