Facial recognition software marketed to law enforcement agencies shows it mistakenly matched the faces of one out of five lawmakers, 26 lawmakers total, with images in an arrest photo database, including Phil Ting’s, San Francisco, CA Assemblymember and proponent of the AB 1215. The bill, also known as The Body Camera Accountability Act, bans facial recognition and biometric surveillance in police body cameras. 

More than half of those falsely identified are lawmakers of color, illustrating the risks associated with the technology’s dangerous inaccuracies and the certain erosion of civil liberties should California police departments add the technology to officer body cameras.

“This experiment reinforces the fact that facial recognition software is not ready for prime time - let alone for use in body cameras worn by law enforcement,” said Ting. “I could see innocent Californians subjected to perpetual police line ups because of false matches. We must not allow this to happen.”

"In the real world, such mistakes could have falsely implicated those legislators in a number of alleged crimes. Modeling the test after law enforcement’s current known uses of facial recognition technology, the ACLU compared every California state legislator with 25,000 public arrest photos. An independent expert from UC Berkeley verified the results," says the press release