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‘Bad when it’s inaccurate, but even worse when it’s accurate’

This month, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by police and other agencies, taking an “historic and important first step toward recognizing the unique danger” of the technology, says Woodrow Hartzog, a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University.

Akin to a more sophisticated fingerprint analysis, facial recognition software—which matches photos taken by security cameras and cell phone cameras to police and government databases to determine a person’s identity—has been adopted by law enforcement officials to catch criminals and solve crimes that have gone cold.

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