Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, December 8, 2019

PROPOSED AMERICAN LAW WILL REQUIRE COURT APPROVAL FOR CONTINUING SURVEILLANCE USING FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY

 
A bipartisan bill recently introduced in the United States Senate will, if passed, require Federal law enforcement agencies that conduct continued surveillance of targets, using facial recognition technology, to obtain a court order from a judge, authorizing such activity. Named the Facial Recognition Technology Warrant Act of 2019,  bill requires court approval for any continuing public surveillance, using facial recognition technology, that occurs "over a period of time greater than 72 hours, " the law does provide for exemptions during exigent (emergency) circumstances, but there must be follow-up application to a court for an order.

For those who fear that the new law, if enacted, will prohibit single identification of suspects using facial recognition technology, such one-time uses are specifically exempted from the court order requirement, provided that continuing surveillance is not subsequently used to track that individual, in either real-time, or through the use of historical records. There is a 30-day time limit on orders awarding court approval, and a procedure to extend them.

It is noteworthy that the bill contains a provision allowing for filing of Motions to Suppress, whereby the procedure can be challenged in court. Readers who wish to review the bill may access the complete text here.




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