Robinson Introduces Legislation to Prevent Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Legislation would create a five-year moratorium on the use of the technology
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

DETROIT — State Rep. Isaac Robinson (D-Detroit) recently introduced House Bill 4810, which would create a five-year moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. Recently, the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners tabled a vote on the use of facial recognition technology to monitor city neighborhoods but approved the use of traffic cameras with the capacity to use the technology.  The board is expected to approve the use of the technology despite public opposition. Serious concerns exist regarding the use of facial recognition technology as it has been shown to misidentify African-American faces

​“Research has already shown that facial recognition technology has significant difficulty identifying and recognizing African-American faces, leading to an unacceptable bias against these communities across the nation.  Having one of the largest African American populations in the country, Detroit is no exception,” said Robinson. “It is completely unconscionable to ask our families to sacrifice our freedoms for a policy that has the potential to put so many residents at risk. My bill will combat this by preventing law enforcement from using inherently flawed facial recognition software to analyze and identify people. We must reverse the dangerous trend of using technology that intrudes on our privacy and violates our Fourth Amendment rights.”

HB 4810 will prevent the use of facial recognition software to obtain warrants or otherwise enforce the law. The prohibition includes footage obtained from surveillance cameras, unmanned aircraft, body cameras, and street and traffic light cameras.  The bill was co-sponsored by state Reps. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) and Jewell Jones (D-Inkster).