City of Somerville Takes Major Step to Follow San Francisco And Ban Facial Surveillance. Next Stop: Oakland

Posted June 25, 2019 at 1:23 PM

Tonight the Somerville City Council Legislative Matters Committee voted to ban facial recognition. It goes to a final vote on Thursday but this was the big one.

Somerville follows in San Francisco’s footsteps to become the second city in the country to ban this dangerous and racist technology.

“Some technology is simply too dangerous to exist. Facial recognition can be used to track our every movement, supercharge racial profiling and discrimination, target political dissidents, and control nearly every aspect of our lives. Lawmakers are beginning to agree that this dystopian technology is dangerous, but if we don’t demand they act now, we’re heading for 1984.” – Evan Greer (she/her), digital rights campaign director at Fight for the Future

On Tuesday night the public safety committee on the Oakland City Council will discuss a similar ban. This is the beginning of a grassroots groundwell against facial recognition and mass surveillance. Tech companies and their marketing departments want us to think that facial recognition is an inevitability but we, at Fight for the Future and a growing coalition of supporters across the country, believe that we have a choice. These computer programs are designed to identify and track us at a distance, by analyzing images of our faces, without our knowledge or consent. We are at a turning point in history and it’s up to all of us to decide the future we want.