Main menu


New Orleans City Council Vote To Protect Facial Recognition Technology

featured image

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Before the city council voted on Ordinance 33,809, local supporters expressed concern that NOPD was allowed to use facial recognition software.

“Currently, there are few safeguards in place for the use of this technology, relying on NOPD to follow its own rules, with no system in place to ensure accountability,” it explains. Natalie Sharp, Voice of New Orleans for Accountability, said. “

Sharp was one of several people present on Thursday (August 4) who were outright against the technology. The council authorized New Orleans Police Department access to the technology a few weeks ago. It was hoped the ministry would have another tool to help identify suspects at a time when the unit had fewer than 1,000 officers.

But some supporters were concerned about what NOPD was allowed to do under the original ordinance.

“The current ordinance gives NOPD and state officials the freedom to basically create their own rules for the use of technology and to commit to Congress and the city to abide by those rules,” Louisiana said. “Promises are great, but checks and balances are not. That’s not how separation of governments is supposed to work.”

Many commenters, both in person and online, supported the council’s new ordinance on safety measures.

One of the main actions is to require criminal court judges to be educated about the technology and the process NOPD uses to obtain approval to use.

“They want to participate in another discussion with the NOPD, the Council and various supporters,” said Council Chair Helena Moreno.

If the judge agrees, it is expected to serve as the final seal of approval required for officers to use the technology.

“We wanted to do an additional external check, meaning that even criminal district courts could approve the use of facial recognition technology based on the fact that certain officers followed the NOPD policy on its use. I wanted you to check out the facial recognition technology.

All six council members present voted in favor of the ordinance.

Initially, the additional safeguards were amendments that Moreno and other city council members fought to enact the original ordinance. However, Moreno was absent from that council due to his illness and the bill was not passed.

Now, the council hopes to increase trust and accountability in police departments and bring protection to certain communities and even women seeking help with abortions.

“We in New Orleans must exercise our reproductive rights and protect those who are LGBTQIA+ members,” said Rep. Leslie Harris.

Councilors also acknowledged that more changes are likely to occur as facial recognition technology continues to develop.

“It’s too big a deal to go wrong. So I want to make sure we all get it right. I don’t want to go up here just to talk. I really want to be a boot on the ground.” Alderman Freddie King III said.

Does your story have spelling or grammatical errors? click here report it. Include a heading.

Copyright 2022 WVUE. all rights reserved.