Press Pause on Face Surveillance: Tell Your Legislators It's Time for a Moratorium in Massachusetts


We've seen the polling, we’ve read the research, and the message is clear: we need to press pause on government use of face surveillance.

But despite the extraordinary progress we’ve made – with local action in Northampton, Somerville, Cambridge, Brookline, and Springfield – our lawmakers on Beacon Hill haven’t committed to take action. Make sure they get the message: when it comes to our privacy, we won't be silent.

Urge your legislators to support a statewide moratorium on face surveillance.

Message Recipients:
Your State Senator
Your State Representative

Pause Face Surveillance
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Your Message

Happy New Year! In 2020, please urge legislative leadership to address unregulated government use of face surveillance technology.

This is a top priority. Please pass S.1385/H.1538 to establish a moratorium on government use of face surveillance and other remote biometric tracking technologies in Massachusetts.

This experimental technology is spreading fast, but it isn’t ready for primetime. Here’s why: On December 19th, the National Institute of Standards and Technology released a first-ever study evaluating the effects of race, age, and sex on nearly 200 face recognition algorithms. Their findings? The technology consistently performs worse on Black, Asian, and Native American faces, and shows bias against women, the elderly, and children. The scariest problem is high false positive rates – or how often a face was wrongly identified as someone else. Shockingly, many algorithms performed up to 100 times worse on one demographic group than another.

Overwhelming majorities of Massachusetts voters support a moratorium on this dangerous technology, and don’t want the government to use it unless it's regulated. As time and technology race forward, our laws must keep pace—this can’t wait. For the sake of our basic liberties, please support this legislation and press for its passage this year.


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