Above: Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2020 presidential candidate, speaks onstage during the 2019 Young Leaders Conference – 2020 Presidential Candidates Forum at Georgia International Convention Center on August 17, 2019 in College Park, Georgia. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants an end to facial recognition software use by police. Sanders called for the ban as part of a criminal justice reform plan introduced today ahead of a two-day tour of South Carolina .
The plan also calls for the ban of for-profit prisons and law enforcement agencies benefitting from civil asset forfeiture.
The move comes at a time when lawmakers in states like Michigan and New Jersey are also considering bans, while California lawmakers are also considering a ban on use of facial recognition software specifically for body cameras.
Cities like San Francisco and Somerville, Massachusetts passed facial recognition software bans on police and city department in recent months on the grounds of racial justice, privacy, and fear of misuse.
Police departments in places Chicago and Detroit are exploring the use of real-time facial recognition with a web of cameras across throughout the city.
A range of policy experts and researchers urged Congress to take action to regulate facial recognition software use by law enforcement, a subject that received bipartisan support in a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in May .
Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) are currently crafting legislation that could curb use of facial recognition software.
Speaking on issues like the future of work and China’s threat ti the United States, Democratic presidential candidates from Andrew Yang to Pete Buttigieg have also made artificial intelligence part of their platform.
Sanders kicked off his campaign by saying “I’m running for president because we need to understand that artificial intelligence and robotics must benefit the needs of workers, not just corporate America and those who own that technology.”
Outside the United States, analysis by University of Essex researchers in July found that facial recognition software use in London inaccurate in 80% of cases, also prompting calls for a ban or moratorium.