A proposed ordinance in Albany, N.Y. would would regulate the city's surveillance technology, including facial recognition software and surveillance cameras, police body cameras and social media monitoring software.
If passed, the ordinance would require the city to create protocols so the technology doesn’t violate civil rights and any department using these technologies would be required to report to the common council each year about its efficiency and costs.
Albany common council member Sonia Frederick told WRGB Albany that the ordinance would add an additional layer of transparency for residents and would not discourage City department from using security technologies. According to the TV station, Albany police say the proposal is too broad and affects every type of video and audio technology they use, making investigations difficult.
In the City Council's meeting this week, Albany Police said they do not have facial recognition software, but rather take screenshots of a face to try to identify a person by comparing it to a database of mugshots. They've only done this 36 times in 2019 and 32 times so far in 2020.