Body Cams Could Include Facial Recognition Technology


There's a debate in California over whether police officers should carry body cameras with facial recognition technology. San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting has authored legislation that would ban the emerging technology. He says we don't want communities to feel like they're under surveillance 24/7.

"If you were going to deploy hundreds or thousands of cameras on the street, for whatever public safety reason, you'd have a pretty significant public discourse, you'd have to talk to the public," said Ting.

Law enforcement says it could better protect the state's 40 million residents, but critics say the technology turns police officers into roving surveillance devices. The California State Sheriff's Association calls the facial recognition technology another tool that would allow them to identify crime suspects more quickly. Ting's legislation made it through the Assembly last month and the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday without a single Republican vote.

Ting says he's authored legislation that would prevent police departments in California from using facial recognition technology in conjunction with their body cameras.

"Body cameras are really created to build trust between the community and law enforcement. At the same time really, it would help law enforcement do their job. I think this would really harm that public trust. It would really amount to 24-hour surveillance,"

Photo: Getty Images

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