Los Angeles (AFP)

California police will not have the right to use facial recognition software on their on-board cameras for three years, according to a law ratified this week by the Democratic Governor of that state in the southwestern United States.

The text was carried by San Francisco-born Phil Ting, who last May became the first US city to ban any use of facial recognition tools by law enforcement officials, citing growing concerns over the protection of privacy. private life.

"Face recognition technology is about turning onboard cameras" worn by police "as a 24-hour surveillance tool, allowing law enforcement to track our every move," said Phil Ting.

Another major twist in his eyes, this technology "is not yet ripe because it wrongly associates innocent people to police photos, including me," wrote on Twitter Phil Ting, rejoicing in the adoption of this law.

The elected member was indeed one of the 26 parliamentarians who had been mistakenly "recognized" by software among the faces in a database of offenders during a demonstration organized by the powerful association for civil rights ACLU. In total, the photos of 120 elected officials were compared to this public database.

The tech giant Amazon, creator of the software Rekognition used by the ACLU during this demonstration, had at the time denounced this test as a publicity stunt, saying that the software had not been correctly used.

The law adopted by California further asserts that these biometric surveillance techniques are less reliable when it comes to identifying women, young people or "people of color", which creates for this part of the population a increased and "harmful" risk of misidentification.

The three-year moratorium applies only to body cameras but does not prevent law enforcement from using facial recognition software for fixed cameras or other applications.

© 2019 AFP