Rep. Rashida Tlaib sponsors bill cracking down on use of facial recognition technology


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WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, is introducing legislation that would prohibit the use of facial and biometric recognition technology in public housing nationwide.

The legislation, which Tlaib is sponsoring along with Reps. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., would also require the Department of Housing and Urban Development to report to Congress on how facial and biometric recognition technology can affect public housing and its tenants.

“We’ve heard from privacy experts, researchers who study facial recognition technology and community members who have well-founded concerns about the implementation of this technology and its implications for racial justice,” Tlaib said”We cannot allow residents of HUD-funded properties to be criminalized and marginalized with the use of biometric products like facial recognition technology.”

Questions have been raised about the use of facial recognition technology in Detroit, with a program that placed security cameras in various locations coming under scrutiny in recent months.

Recently, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan tried to tamp down concerns, saying in a tweet that facial recognition software would not be used with live-stream video from cameras around the city. However, some experts said that statement doesn’t go far enough, considering concerns about error rates when screening people of color.

Contact Todd Spangler at tspangler@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @tsspangler. Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our elections newsletter.

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