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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Science Policy Group

UC Berkeley

Establishing Privacy Advisory Commissions for the Regulation of Facial Recognition Systems at the Municipal Level


As facial recognition systems (FRS) become widely available, a growing number of local governing bodies across the country have adopted these technologies. Without regulating how and when these technologies are used, the adoption of FRS by municipal governments has the potential to violate civil liberties and disproportionately harm marginalized groups. FRS may be an invaluable tool for law enforcement; however, best practices must be adopted to curb their misuse, specifically at the municipal level. We propose that cities considering procurement of FRS create an independent privacy advisory commission with a clear mandate, guaranteed cooperation from local government, technology expertise, and community stakeholder input.

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