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King County Council puts off vote on proposal to ban facial recognition technology

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

After a divisive hearing, the King County Council decided not to vote on a proposal to ban government use of facial recognition technology.

“Facial recognition is like plutonium, so toxic that its use needs to be restricted,” one public commenter said.

“We need a ban,” said another.

King County could be first in nation to ban facial recognition technology

One prevailing argument against moving forward with a vote involved the fact that state lawmakers recently passed a law addressing many underlying concerns related to the technology.

Others cited concerns over whether banning the technology would prevent locating missing or trafficked children. The council said it wanted more information on that before moving forward.

This proposal wouldn’t ban private companies from using the technology, only the county, including the King County Sheriff’s Office.

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