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A new bill could ban facial recognition in federally-funded housing

The No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act is expected to be proposed tomorrow.
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Now that facial recognition is more common, so are the laws aiming to limit its scope. San Francisco, Oakland, Calif. and Somerville, Mass. have all passed laws prohibiting city use of facial recognition. Now, a group of Congresswomen hope to pass the first federal legislation to limit the technology. According to CNET, the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act is expected to be introduced this week.

If passed, the bill would prohibit facial recognition in public housing units that receive Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding. It would also require HUD to submit a report on facial recognition and its impacts on public housing units and tenants. The legislation will be proposed by Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

The bill would be the first federal legislation to determine which technology landlords can impose. As CNET points out, it would only impact HUD housing, but it could serve as a model for future bills. This spring tenants won the right to have physical keys to access their New York City apartment building, rather than smart locks. As more landlords look to install smart home tech, legislation and cases like these could become more common.

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