California’s legislature is considering a bill that would expand its use of facial recognition, including for law enforcement. The bill, Assembly Bill 2261, seeks to establish a framework for companies and government agencies to legally utilize facial recognition if they give advance notice. The legislation has been in the works since February.
California’s existing law, the California Consumer Privacy Act, (CCPA) gives consumers rights in relation to their personal information in relation to this information being collected or sold and it includes the right to require a business to delete this personal information. The newly introduced bill would “require a processor,” either an agency or person processing personal data for a controller to “make available an application programming interface or other technical capability…to conduct …tests of those facial recognition services for accuracy and unfair performance differences.” It would also “grant an individual the right to confirm if a controller has enrolled an image or a facial template of that individual in a facial recognition service used in a physical premise open to the public, the right to correct or challenge a decision to enroll an image or a facial template of the individual in a facial recognition service…the right to withdraw, at any time, consent to enroll an image or a facial template of that individual in a facial recognition service used in a physical premise open to the public.” The law would also require agencies to produce reports and conduct training. In addition to building upon the CCPA, it also builds upon the Information Practices Act of 1977, as well as certain constitutional provisions.
Supporters of the bill believe it is an important measure to secure privacy protection, in light of some uses of this technology, for example, Clearview AI and its facial recognition database. The Assemblyman who introduced the bill, Ed Chau, called it “the long overdue solution to regulate the use of facial recognition technology by commercial, state and local public entities.” Meanwhile, those opposing the bill claim it will only help further expand the use of this technology. For example, the ACLU states this bill would “legitimize the widespread use of harmful and unnecessary facial recognition on the public.”
The Assembly Appropriations Committee is considering the bill this week.