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Maine Passes Strongest Facial Recognition Restrictions In Country

Gillian Flaccus
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2019, file photo, Sheriff's Office Deputy Jeff Talbot in Washington County, Oregon demonstrates how his agency used facial recognition software to help solve a crime, at their headquarters in Hillsboro, Ore. The image on the left shows a man whose face was captured on a surveillance camera and investigators used the software to scan their database of past mug shots to match that facial image with an identity.

Maine has enacted the strongest facial recognition law in the country, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine.

Maine ACLU executive Director Alison Beyea says the law prohibits the use of facial recognition technology by public officials and employees at the state and local level, with limited exceptions.

"Facial recognition does not work. And even worse than not working, it has the impact of having a discriminatory impact on people of color. And so what you're seeing across the country is conversations about how to rein in this technology so we don't have people experiencing false arrest, losing their liberty, being taken away from their families," she says.

There are some exceptions. Law enforcement will be permitted to request a facial recognition search from the FBI and Bureau of Motor Vehicles when there is probable cause an individual has committed a serious crime.

The law goes into effect in October.