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AB 1215

Privacy is vital to every American. In the Internet Age, it is difficult to maintain a small digital footprint. Each time we search the internet, our personal information is being logged and then used to target us via advertisements.

Cameras have come a long way in recent years too. Street corners in major cities are home to cameras that follow both traffic and pedestrian movement. What’s more, many police officers across the country are required to wear body cameras. The mandate is meant to ensure accountability; video footage provides the ability to determine if events happen the way an officer claims.

As technology becomes more advanced, some have raised concerns that police body cameras could soon incorporate facial recognition features. Police could identify suspects they did not even know they were looking for, which brings us closer to living in a police state.

Such technologies could result in profiling, and inaccurate facial matching could result in innocent people getting hurt. Facial recognition technology could compromise Californians’ safety and civil liberties.

AB 1215: The Body Camera Accountability Act

Earlier this year, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced Assembly Bill 1215: The Body Camera Accountability Act. The legislation came about over concerns that invasive surveillance technology could be used against the public with body cams, ACLU Northern California reports. Supporters of the bill believe that body cams should be used for police transparency and accountability, and nothing more.

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law after it received bipartisan support in both chambers of the California Legislature, according to the article. The bill’s passage makes California the most significant state to ban the use of facial recognition and biometric tracking technology with police body cams. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

“Without my bill, facial recognition technology essentially turns body cameras into a 24-hour surveillance tool, giving law enforcement the ability to track our every movement. Let’s not become a police state and keep body cameras as they were originally intended – to provide police accountability and transparency,” said Assemblymember Ting. 

Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Please reach out to the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower is you are facing legal difficulties. Attorney Brower brings decades of experience to the table and can help you or a loved one achieve a favorable outcome.

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