The state of Washington has passed our country’s first law governing the use of facial recognition. This new law allows the government to implement facial recognition, however the law requires that there must first be the filing of a public notice. The law also allows for law enforcement to utilize the technology, but states that it must have a warrant. The article that follows does a very good job of providing the details surrounding the new law, and actually hints that Microsoft may have had a hand in the bill.
The Washington state legislature passed a bill establishing new guardrails on government use of facial recognition software.
The bill cleared both chambers of the state legislature Thursday, hours before the session ended, positioning Washington as one of the first states in the nation to regulate facial recognition, a key component in the larger legal debate over artificial intelligence. The bill now awaits Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature.
The legislation requires public agencies to regularly report on their use of facial recognition technology and test the software for fairness and accuracy. Law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before using facial recognition technology in investigations unless there is an emergency. The bill also establishes a task force to study the use of facial recognition technology by government agencies.