Hartzog and Selinger: Ban Facial Recognition

A good, strongly-worded article from Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger, arguing for an outright ban instead of regulation on facial recognition systems.


“A call to ban facial recognition systems, full stop, is extreme. Really smart scholars like Judith Donath argue that it’s the wrong approach. She suggests a more technologically neutral tactic, built around the larger questions that identify the specific activities to be prohibited, the harms to be avoided, and the values, rights, and situations we are trying to protect. For almost every other digital technology, we agree with this approach.

But we believe facial recognition technology is the most uniquely dangerous surveillance mechanism ever invented. It’s the missing piece in an already dangerous surveillance infrastructure, built because that infrastructure benefits both the government and private sectors. And when technologies become so dangerous, and the harm-to-benefit ratio becomes so imbalanced, categorical bans are worth considering.”

Link: Facial Recognition Is the Perfect Tool for Oppression (Medium)

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