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Facial Recognition Act of 2022 in the U.S.

Members of the U.S. Congress from California, Texas, and New York introduced the Facial Recognition Act of 2022 to limit and ban the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) by law enforcement.

Law enforcement agencies use FRT, which is a powerful surveillance tool, but Americans’ civil liberties are at risk because its algorithms still contain predetermined notions that can lead to misinformation. Hence, the goal of the bill is to protect the privacy of Americans, especially against technology that is broken and not regulated.

The bill cited that facial recognition technology shouldn’t be used as a sneaky way to spy on people. The legislation creates sufficient safeguards against surveilling individuals and exploiting their traits, such as their face, head, hair, and body, to identify individuals who should not be subject to such targeting and intrusive measures.

The following are also included in the limits and prohibit the use of FRT by law enforcement: prohibits the use of FRT to enforce immigration laws by law enforcement, prohibits the use of FRT in connection with databases containing unlawfully obtained information as well as body cameras, dashboard cameras and aircraft cameras, prohibits the use of FRT to track individuals using live or recorded video and ensures nothing in the law preempts state or municipal governments from implementing FRT bans or moratoriums.

The bill provides individuals with access to information and safeguards the rights of defendants. It establishes a private cause of action for those injured by FRT. It requires law enforcement to provide notice and a copy of the court order to individuals who are the subject of an FRT search, as well as other key data points.

Additionally, law enforcement must purge FRT arrest photo databases every six months of photos of individuals who are younger than 18, were released without charges, had charges dismissed or were acquitted of the charged offence.

The bill also mandates annual assessments and reporting on the use of FRT by law enforcement. This requires periodic audits of FRT systems utilised by law enforcement agencies and suspensions for agencies that fail audits, as well as annual, independent testing of any FRT system utilised by law enforcement. In addition, demanding a comprehensive FRT, judicial and prosecutorial reporting and data collecting are also required.

The Facial Recognition Act of 2022 aims to provide solid safeguards that provide transparency to the American public, eliminate biased algorithms, ensure defendants’ due process rights are upheld and restrict the technology’s usage to necessary circumstances.

Furthermore, California has passed the Mental Health App Privacy or the Assembly Bill (AB) 2089 Privacy, which covers digital services and application information for mental health. The bill changes the definition of medical information to include mental health application information, which is defined as information collected by a mental health digital service about a consumer’s inferred or diagnosed mental health or substance use disorder.

The term “mental health digital service” refers to a mobile app or website that collects mental health application information from a consumer, advertises itself as helping consumers get mental health services, and uses that information to help consumers get mental health services.

The bill says that any business that gives a customer a mental health digital service to help them manage their information or to diagnose, treat, or manage a medical condition is a healthcare provider and must follow the rules of the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA).

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