Only police applications of facial recognition technology will be legal in Baltimore.

Baltimore’s City Council Public Safety Committee has unanimously passed a temporary total ban on the private use of facial recognition in the city.

The move bans all applications of facial recognition that are not deployed by city police and will be taken to a vote of the city council early June, where it’s likely to pass.

Other U.S. cities to ban facial recognition technology include Boston, Portland and San Francisco, and it’s likely others will follow. For CCTV people, this means public surveillance applications managed by police will have exemption, but privately owned applications will be impossible. The bans are broad enough that they cover face recognition in access control applications.

The Security Industry Association (SIA) expressed in concerns over the ban to Baltimore’s Public Safety Committee, pointing out the issue was “…much broader than the concerns raised around law enforcement and government applications” but to no avail.

If passed into law, SIA says the ban will criminalise all consumer applications of facial recognition technology.

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