Thanks to the organizing of a coalition of civil rights groups — including Team MediaJustice and Network member Media Alliance — the California Senate just passed AB 1215: The Body Camera Accountability Act, which blocks law enforcement agencies in the state from using facial recognition surveillance on officer-worn body cameras.
Myaisha Hayes, National Field Organizer, Criminal Justice & Tech at MediaJustice, shared the following statement on the passing of AB 1215:
“By banning law enforcement use of facial recognition for the next three years, the California Senate is taking a positive step towards keeping all communities safe. This error-prone and racially biased technology within the hands of the police would only exacerbate the reality of state-sanctioned violence and discrimination perpetrated by police against people of color. Facial recognition technology used in this way does not further the much-needed conversation and debate regarding public safety and policy – rather it opens the door for mass surveillance without any oversight. We look forward to seeing this bill signed by the Governor and organizing in the future to turn this temporary measure into a permanent ban.”
The Body Camera Accountability Act (AB 1215) is supported by a wide coalition of organizations, including: ACLU of California, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, API Chaya, Anti Police-Terror Coalition, Asian Law Alliance, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California Immigrant Policy Center, California Public Defenders Association, Citizens Rise!, MediaJustice and the MediaJustice Network, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Color of Change, Council on American-Islamic Relations – California, CRASH Space, Data for Black Lives, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, Indivisible CA, Justice Teams Network, Media Alliance, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Oakland Privacy, RAICES, README at UCLA, Root Access, San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, Secure Justice, Transgender Law Center, Library Freedom Project, Tor Project, and X-Lab.