As local legislators debate facial recognition, some agencies restrict it with their own policies first
Last month, San Francisco became the first municipality in the country to ban the use of facial recognition by city departments. Later today, Somerville, Massachusetts may join its ranks. Agencies in other cities, however, aren’t waiting for city councils to weigh in, implementing policies that bar the use of facial recognition. Though the agency-level limits are not subject to the public development and enforcement that support city or state-level rules, they can be important measures in an agency’s own relationship with residents.
Less than two months before the deadline Amazon gave itself to announce its second headquarters location, a Pittsburgh judge decided the city’s #AmazonHQ2 proposal documents are not “trade secrets” protected from FOIA requests - a common exemption claimed by cities nationwide that have denied to release bid documents.
With so much competition for Amazon’s second home, cities across the country are shelling out to stand out. In a request for HQ2 bids, Worcester Economic Development revealed they spent $9,800 to produce a promotional video for their headquarter proposal.
Records released last week show D.C. Metropolitan Police Department employed a Long Range Acoustic Device during the Women’s March to “direct the crowd flow.” This is the latest evidence of an worrying trend in which police departments are increasingly using the incredibly powerful LRAD to deal with non-violent protests at the risk of causing permanent hearing loss.