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Somerville May Become First East Coast City To Ban Facial Recognition Technology

Privacy and civil rights advocates are working to ensure facial recognition technology doesn’t come to their city. Last week, the Somerville City Council in Massachusetts proposed a ban on the technology. So far, the proposed bill is backed by nine of 11 city council members, along with Mayor Joseph Curtatone, as reported by The Boston Globe . Under the bill, the government wouldn’t be able to use facial recognition and other “remote biometric surveillance systems” until the state develops a framework for its use. Any data collected through facial recognition would be “unlawfully obtained.” That means it couldn’t be used in trial and the bill calls for it to be deleted immediately. In addition, if the banned technology is used on anyone, that person is allowed to seek damages. Facial recognition’s largely unregulated spread was noted in a testimony given by Emiliano Falcon, Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Massachusetts:...

May 13, 2019

A Group Of Lawmakers Take Another Shot At Improving Federal Government's AI Use

Last year, a group of senators tried to encourage the government to hop in on regulating the use of AI with the Artificial Intelligence In Government Act . The press release noted the bill would seek to “improve the use of AI across the federal government by providing resources and directing federal agencies to include AI in data-related planning.” Although the original bill ended up stalling, it’s now been re-introduced by the same people: Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Kamala Harris (D-CA). Similar to before, the bill would hand out tasks to different government branches who’ll begin exploring and implementing the use of AI. For example, Engadget reported that the Office of Management and Budget would have to figure out strategies for using AI for federal data. An advisory board would be developed to tackle AI policy, Engadget added. Meanwhile, executive agencies would have to create plans that encourage the adoption of AI, while still...

May 9, 2019