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ACM Opinion

A Case for Banning Facial Recognition


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Scanning the face of a black woman.

Timnit Gebru, a leader of Googles ethical artificial intelligence team, believes facial recognition is too dangerous to be used right now for law enforcement purposes.

Credit: Ziv Schneider

Facial recognition software might be the world's most divisive technology.

Law enforcement agencies and some companies use it to identify suspects and victims by matching photos and video with databases like driver's license records. But civil liberties groups say facial recognition contributes to privacy erosion, reinforces bias against black people and is prone to misuse.

San Francisco and a major provider of police body cameras have barred its use by law enforcement, and IBM on Monday backed away from its work in this area. Some proposals to restructure police departments call for tighter restrictions on their use of facial recognition.

Timnit Gebru, a leader of Google's ethical artificial intelligence team, explained why she believes that facial recognition is too dangerous to be used right now for law enforcement purposes. These are edited excerpts from our virtual discussion at the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society on Monday.

 

From The New York Times
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