Teaneck Bans Facial Recognition by Police and Departments

Ordinance 7-2021:


This ordinance will ban the use of facial recognition surveillance technologies by the Township.

These technologies have resulted in innocent people (including this one here in NJ), being held for crimes they didn’t commit. Crimes there were not even anywhere close to. 10 days. Sitting in a cell for a crime you didn’t commit.

READ: Another Arrest, and Jail Time, Due to a Bad Facial Recognition Match (NYT)

This man, the first to be arrested after being fingered by an “algorithm”, spent 30 hours in jail while his 5 yr old daughter cried at home. He told her he’d be right back as they arrested him.

READ: Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm – In what may be the first known case of its kind, a faulty facial recognition match led to a Michigan man’s arrest for a crime he did not commit. (NYT)

As CJ Ciaramella said at Reason:

“While the potential benefits of reliable facial recognition technology shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand, a sloppy panopticon is almost as dangerous as an effective one.”

Maybe one day, but not today.

Thank you to our municipal counsel John Shahdanian, Bill Rupp and Molly Lustig, as well as Matt CagleJake Snow and the folks at ACLU (along with many others) that have been pushing the issue.

Now we need to build out policies for how municipalities adopt tech and evaluate it for use in the future.

The discussion about the Ordinance takes place below