Ban on facial-recognition technology tabled again

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An ordinance banning the government use of facial-recognition technology was tabled this week to the April West Lafayette City Council meeting.

Similar attempts to ban this use of facial-recognition technology have been addressed by the board in the past. Most recently, a previous ordinance regarding this ban was passed by the board with a 5-4 vote at the November 2021 meeting. However, this vote was immediately vetoed by West Lafayette mayor John Dennis.

The previous ordinance outlined areas of concern:

  • Facial-recognition surveillance shall mean an automated or semi-automated process that assists in identifying or verifying an individual, based on the physical characteristics of an individual’s face.
  • Facial-recognition surveillance system shall mean any computer software or application that performs facial-recognition surveillance.

“I do suspect that this is just the beginning of a great deal of conversation when it comes to this type of technology,” Dennis said in November. “There is so much information that was discussed on the council that really does make us aware that they need to have more meetings and an open mind about it.”

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