Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - 8

INDUSTRY PULSE
IN DEPTH
Facial recognition technology
continues to be
hotly debated at the state and local level
as privacy advocates, politicians and other
stakeholders debate the pros and cons
of regulating the technology or adopting
outright bans.
Although nearly 20 states considered
some level of regulation or blanket bans
on the technology in 2020 and 2021, only
a handful of the legislative efforts were adopted,
according to Jake Parker, senior
director of government relations for the
Security Industry Association (SIA).
" Broadly prohibiting government
agencies from using the technology has
actually been rejected much more than
they've been taken seriously. Over the last
two legislative cycles they have been rejected
in 17 states. Rejected either by not
being taken up and considered or actually
being voted down, " Parkers says.
Several states have enacted some conditional
use restrictions. Effective July 1,
Washington adopted the most expansive
law so far that imposes a series of conditions
on any public sector agency, including
law enforcement use of the technology.
Massachusetts has a restriction that applies
only to law enforcement purposes and poses
some conditions. Earlier this year, Utah
also established conditions for law enforcement
use, both throughout the state and
by the state's Homeland Security office.
Advocacy organizations led by the
ACLU, along with other coalitions, have
had the most success in banning facial
recognition at the local level. Eighteen
jurisdictions at present have prohibited
use of the technology by city agencies.
However, in 2021 only three municipalities
considered such bans. King County,
Wash., and Minneapolis adopted bans
on government use, and in June the Baltimore
City Council implemented what
is thought to be the most expansive ban
8
NEWS ANALYSIS RESEARCH PEOPLE
Industry Reckons With Facial Rec Bans
By Rodney Bosch
of any jurisdiction by restricting personal
and business use.
" It's only the second jurisdiction to
include private-sector restrictions, after
Portland, Ore., " says Parker.
Notably for the security industry,
among several application-specific carveouts
included in these measures, the ordinances
in Minneapolis and Baltimore exclude
use of facial recognition technology
within access control and security systems
from the prohibition.
Barring law enforcement's application
of facial recognition can negate positive
use cases, such investigating child pornography,
human trafficking and other
crimes, explains Christian Quinn, senior
director, government affairs, for consulting
firm Brook Bawden Moore. He
recently retired after serving 25 years as
a senior leader with the Fairfax County
Police Department in Virginia. As a police
major, Quinn led the establishment of
a cyber & forensics bureau, dealing with
emerging trends related to digital evidence
and the need to adopt technology in a
manner that balances security and privacy.
" I think anyone who is running a facial
recognition program, we're in favor
of regulation. We don't want a Wild West
environment. We want best practices,
best standards; we want to have those
stipulations like effective algorithms, humans
in the loop, defined use cases, transparency, "
he says.
Quinn cites the example of a typical child
exploitation case where a seized mobile device
may hold thousands of digital images.
" What you don't want to have is a situation
where an examiner has to go through image
by image by image to determine what is the
nature of [every single] image. "
Some facial recognition tools will group
together like images by leveraging AI. Examiners
are then able to determine how
prolific the suspect or offender is with
Security Sales & Integration SEPTEMBER 2021
Several states have enacted conditional
use restrictions on facial recognition.
respect to their child pornography collections.
Do they have the same victims, multiple
victims? Are there missing identifiable
victims who might be able to be recovered?
" When you outright ban digital facial
comparisons, you throw out those tools
with identification technology, sometimes
inadvertently, just because that's
not considered, " Quinn cautions.
SIA conducts a working group of more
than 30 companies to advise and participate
in legislative advocacy and communications
efforts for facial recognition. Parker
says a common misconception they hear is
that there are no rules in place about using
the technology. It may be the case no legislation
has been enacted, but most major
jurisdictions using facial recognition are
bound by rules of procedure, he says.
Lumping all uses of the technology under
the label of " surveillance " also foments
a lot of misconceptions
and fallacies,
which only serve to fuel calls for bans.
" Surveillance is a scary word for a lot of
people, " says Parker. " And even if there's
no surveillance involved, if that's what
you think it is, you're going to have a different
attitude. "
(Note: Content derived from a virtual
ESX 2021 panel, moderated by SSI Senior
Editor Rodney Bosch.)
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Security Sales & Integration September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Security Sales & Integration September 2021

Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - Bellyband Front
Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - Bellyband Back
Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - Cover Tip Front
Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - Cover Tip Back
Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - Cover 1
Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - Cover 2
Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - 1
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Security Sales & Integration September 2021 - Cover 3
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