Massachusetts could make history as the first state to issue a ban on the use of facial recognition by law enforcement. The state’s House and Senate lawmakers have approved a police reform bill that would prohibit police departments and other public agencies from using facial recognition systems. As Forbes notes, there will be exceptions, such as if cops can secure a warrant to use facial recognition against someone’s driver’s license. Officers can also write a request to be able to use the technology if they can show evidence that it’s needed to prevent serious injury or death.
In addition to the facial recognition ban, the police reform bill also prohibits cops from using chokeholds and rubber bullets. It limits the use of tear gas and other chemical agents, as well. Before the state can implement its rules, however, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has to sign it into law.