Facial recognition will only make this crisis worse.
When we come out on the other side of this pandemic, what kind of world do we want to live in? We all deserve to live a society where we can freely go about our daily lives, attend a gathering or house of worship, seek medical and mental healthcare, and feel safe without the threat of surveillance.
That's why we need you to help us stop a dangerous bill making its way through the California legislature.
Take Action <[link removed]>
AB 2261 authorizes face recognition systems that will be turned against the public and prevent a return to a safe and free society.
Amid this public health crisis, AB 2261 would green light the use of facial recognition devices to deny Californians' access to healthcare services, businesses and housing, and employment and economic opportunity—all based on a scan of our faces. Throughout history, we've seen emergencies exploited to justify new spying tools used against our most vulnerable communities with Big Tech profiting off their use.
Let's be clear. Face recognition is a dangerous technology built on the back of a racist criminal justice system. The people most harmed by its use will be black and brown Californians who are being disproportionately affected by the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. These communities need our support, not deceptive laws that repackage mass surveillance as a public health tool. In this crisis, our laws should make it easier for Californians to prosper, not harder.
In this period of uncertainty, we need to focus on solutions that keep our communities safe and healthy.
The health experts are clear on what works. Our communities need tests, hospitals need equipment, health care workers need masks and protection. We must invest in solutions that will actually work to flatten the curve and support our social safety net. AB 2261 will waste money, make us less safe, and do more harm than good to communities already in distress.
Assemblymember Ed Chau plans to move forward with AB 2261 when the California legislature reconvenes next week. Help us stop this bill by telling your Assembly Member you oppose AB 2261. <[link removed]>
Thanks for sticking with us,
Executive Director, ACLU of Northern California