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Thank Kade Crockford for driving the ban of facial recognition tech in cities

The activist has become one of the leading proponents of enhancing our privacy and safety by abolishing the technology that would imperil both.

Thank Kade Crockford for driving the ban of facial recognition tech in cities

According to activist Kade Crockford, widespread use of face surveillance—in which algorithms match real-time and historical video data to people’s identities—would “obliterate privacy and anonymity in public as we know it.” That’s why they have organized local support and worked with seven Massachusetts cities over the past year and a half to enact preemptive bans against the technology. As big tech companies continued to pitch their facial recognition algorithms to police departments, Crockford convinced local police chiefs of the need to prevent face surveillance from being used in their communities, and in June, succeeded in banning the tech in Boston. Crockford is eyeing statewide policy, and people have been reaching out about emulating these efforts elsewhere. “This is not a controversial issue for voters,” says Crockford, who has been focused on surveillance issues for a decade. “People don’t want the government to be tracking them by their face every time they leave their house.”

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About the author

Katharine Schwab is the deputy editor of Fast Company's technology section. Email her at kschwab@fastcompany.com and follow her on Twitter @kschwabable

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