BALTIMORE — Just about everywhere you go, there’s a camera that’s recognizing your face.
New legislation is being proposed to limit the use of facial recognition technology in Baltimore City.
City Council Bill 23-0379, which was introduced in May, outlines regulations for the use of facial recognition technology.
Baltimore’s moratorium on facial recognition expired last year.
What’s included in the proposed bill?
Under the proposed bill, any person in possession of facial recognition data would be required to permanently destroy it within three years of the date it was obtained, or within 30 days of receiving a signed request to destroy the data from the individual, or a legal representative.
The bill also mandates that anyone who collects facial recognition data can not distribute the data without consent, a valid warrant or subpoena – unless the data is being used to prevent fraud. However, collecting facial recognition data would be allowed in situations where a written notice of the collection is posted at the entrance to an area.
Additionally, the bill says that a person who collects facial recognition data must provide the data to the individual in question free of charge at the request of the person, or their attorney.
You can view the full bill here.
Setting limitations on facial recognition technology could become a priority, as city leaders have already expressed concerns about.
That concern has increased due to the prevalence of, because AI products are trained on human data.
While the proposed bill sounds like progress for privacy protection, the Baltimore City Council Law Department says the proposed bill conflicts with existing state law.
In a memo, the Baltimore City Council Law Department outlined several legal issues with the proposed bill.
Most notably, the memo says that no local government can establish guidelines for disclosing information that differs from Maryland state law.
The department says the bill conflicts with the Maryland Public Information act (PIA) which dictates when local governments can retain personally identifiable information, when it can be shared, and who it can be shared with.
Another point of conflict, is that the proposed bill would disallow the sale or lease of facial recognition data. According to the law department, such a law could be a violation of the Commerce Clause in the United States Constitution – which states that “Inter-State commerce shall be free and untrammeled.”
The first public hearing to discuss the proposed legislation is set to take place on Wednesday at 12 p.m at City Hall.