Massachusetts governor won’t sign facial recognition ban

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has refused to sign a law banning most government use of facial recognition. The Boston Globe reported last week that Baker sent an omnibus police reform bill back to state lawmakers, asking for changes that included striking the facial recognition rules.

Massachusetts legislators passed the first major state-level facial recognition ban, following a model set by individual cities like Boston and San Francisco. The bill says public agencies, including police departments, can’t use or acquire biometric surveillance systems. It makes exceptions for running facial recognition searches against a motor vehicles registration database, as long as police obtain a warrant or demonstrate “immediate danger” that…

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