Virginia lawmakers unanimously approved a bill HB2031 that would restrict facial recognition technology.
Currently, law enforcement agencies across the state can use this technology without the knowledge of local or state leaders.
Any law enforcement agency using facial recognition technology must stop, and they can only get approval to use it if they seek special permission from the legislature, according to the bill.
The bill has received criticism from some law enforcement officials. John Jones, executive director of the Virginia Sheriff's Association sent CBS 6 a statement saying, “HB 2031 freezes the use of facial recognition by law enforcement agencies. Earlier versions of the bill allowed for a local option, allowing public input for its use, which was acceptable because facial recognition is a valuable tool in certain applications. The technology can be safety used without infringing on constitutional rights while providing a tool for law enforcement agencies. I’m hopeful the Governor will consider the legitimate uses and allow for further consideration to accommodate all concerned parties.”
The bill will be discussed in a special session this month, and may include proposed amendments making approval more restrictive for some, as well as allowing airports or federal agencies to continue using the technology.