No Face Surveillance in Somerville

Face recognition technology has disproportionately high error rates for women and people of color, as documented by MIT’s Media Lab and other researchers.

Manufacturers may someday mitigate these risks. Even then, government use of face recognition technology will threaten safety and privacy, amplify discrimination in our criminal justice system, and chill every resident’s free speech.

Tell the City Council, it’s time to ban government use of face recognition technology in Somerville.

We won!

Victory! Somerville's city council voted unanimously to become the first city on the East Coast to ban government use of face surveillance technology.

Face recognition technology can be used for identifying or verifying the identity of an individual using photos or video. Government can even conduct dragnet, real-time face surveillance of entire neighborhoods. Face recognition technology is also prone to error, implicating people for crimes they haven’t committed. As MIT and the Georgetown Center for Privacy and Technology have demonstrated, these error rates—and the related consequences—are particularly bad for women and people with darker skin.

Regardless of our race or gender, law enforcement use of face recognition technology poses a profound threat to personal privacy, political and religious expression, and the fundamental freedom to go about our lives without having our movements and associations covertly collected and analyzed.

Speak up to protect your privacy rights, and demand that the Somerville City Council pass Councilor Ewen-Campen’s ordinance banning government use of face surveillance in Somerville.