pinit_fg_en_rect_red_20 GEN - Massachusetts Can Become a National Leader to Stop Face Surveillance

Massachusetts has a long history of standing up for liberty. Right now, it has the opportunity to become a national leader in fighting invasive government surveillance. Lawmakers need to hear from

the people of Massachusetts to say they oppose government use of face surveillance.

Face surveillance poses a threat to our privacy, chills protest in public places, and gives law enforcement unregulated power to undermine due process. The city of Somervillehome of Tufts Universityhas heard these concerns and is considering a ban on that citys use of face surveillance. Meanwhile, bills before the Massachusetts General Court would pause the governments use of face surveillance technology on a statewide basis. This moratorium would remain in place unless the legislature passes measures to regulate these technologies, protect civil liberties, and ensure oversight of face surveillance use.

Face recognition technology has disproportionately high error rates for women and people of color. Making matters worse, law enforcement agencies often rely on images pulled from mugshot databaseswhich exacerbates historical biases born of unfair policing in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. If such systems are incorporated into street lights or other forms of surveillance cameras, people in these communities may be unfairly targeted simply because they appeared in another database or were subject to discriminatory policing in the past.

Last month, San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban government use of face surveillance, showing it is possible for us to take back our privacy in public places. Oakland is now examining a similar proposal. Somerville is the first community on the East Coast to consider a ban.

The people of Somerville, with support from Ward 3 Council Member Ben Ewen-Campen, have a chance now to stand against government use of face surveillance and proclaim that they do not want it in their community. Speak up to protect your privacy rights, and demand that the Somerville City Council pass Councilor Ewen-Campens ordinance banning government use of face surveillance in Somerville.

TAKE ACTION

Support Somervilles ban on face surveillance

If you are in the Somerville area and would like to speak at the citys legislative affairs council meeting, please contact organizing@eff.org.

The Somerville City Council has also endorsed a pair of bills in the state legislature that would press pause on the use of face surveillance throughout Massachusetts. Specifically, Massachusetts bills S.1385 and H.1538 would place a moratorium on government use of face surveillance.

If you are in the Somerville area and would like to speak at the citys legislative affairs council meeting, please contact organizing@eff.org.

The Somerville City Council has also endorsed a pair of bills in the state legislature that would press pause on the use of face surveillance throughout Massachusetts. Specifically, Massachusetts bills S.1385 and H.1538 would place a moratorium on government use of face surveillance.

TAKE ACTION

Tell your legislators to press the pause button on face surveillance

Polling from the ACLU of Massachusetts has found that 91 percent of likely voters in the state support government regulation of face recognition surveillance and other biometric tracking. More than three-quarters, 79 percent, support a statewide moratorium.

Governments should immediately stop use of face surveillance in our communities, given what researchers at MITs Media Lab and others have said about its high error ratesparticularly for women and people of color. But even if manufacturers someday mitigate these risks, government use of face recognition technology will threaten safety and privacy, amplify discrimination in our criminal justice system, and chill of every residents free speech.

Support bans in your own communities and tell lawmakers its time to hit the pause button on face surveillance across the country.