San Francisco lawmakers have amended a ban on facial recognition systems to allow city employees to use iPhones.
Prior to the change, city employees who were using iPhones were technically breaking the law because the devices are equipped with FaceID. However, even with the new amendment to the law, they still aren’t allowed to use FaceID.
On May 14th, San Francisco became the first North American city to ban the use of facial recognition by police and local government agencies. Facial recognition uses artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms to be able to identify a person by analyzing their facial features.
The need to amend the law shows that a straight out ban on facial recognition can be challenging and complicated.
The change comes when it was also revealed that San Francisco police officers could have been using facial recognition technology if the ban had not gone in place. This is because the San Francisco police department was testing a facial recognition-based mugshot search system when the ban was being proposed. However, once the ban went into place, the test was dismantled.
In terms of Canada, the Toronto Police department recently came under fire after disclosing that they purchased a facial recognition system. The country has not taken a stance on the technology but launched an advisory council on AI to ensure the tech is utilized in an ethical way.