Stop This Dangerous Bill That Would Normalize Face Surveillance in California


While several California cities have banned government use of face recognition technology, state lawmakers haven't taken the same approach. A new bill this session, A.B. 642 would normalize and incentivize police use of this technology across the state.

While several California cities have banned government use of face recognition technology, A.B. 642—authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting—would instead normalize and incentivize its use across the state.

In the hands of police and other government agencies, face recognition technology presents an inherent threat to our privacy, free expression, information security, and social justice. Our faces are unique identifiers that can’t be left at home or replaced like a stolen ID or compromised password. The technology facilitates covert mass surveillance of the places we frequent and people we associate with.

Face recognition technology also disproportionately impacts people of color. The New York Times published a long piece on the case of Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, who was arrested by Detroit police after face recognition technology erroneously identified him as a suspect in a theft case. Williams and multiple other Black men (Michael Oliver, Nijeer Parks, Randal Reid, and Alanzo Sawyer) have garnered the attention of national media after face recognition technology led to them being falsely arrested by police.

EFF joins more than 50 organizations including ACLU California Action to oppose this bill. There should be no government use of face surveillance. California certainly should not normalize it. Tell the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee to stand against this dangerous bill.

We won!

Your messages helped us oppose A.B. 642, which did not pass the California legislature.