In U.S. First, San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Technology

May 17, 2019

San Francisco banned the use of facial recognition technology by city agencies, a first step in a growing trend in data regulations that could eventually reach the private sector.

While the measure applies only to city agencies, privacy proponents are looking to regulate the private sector.  Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress in March that would ban facial recognition technology in the private sector without the expressed consent of end users.

The debate raises questions for employers.  In many cases, such information can be helpful in ensuring workplace safety and security.  Efforts to implement a law regulating facial recognition technology are in their nascent stages at the federal level.