Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Times Square. Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis/Getty

Police departments throughout the U.S. are quietly rolling out facial recognition systems, according to a pair of new reports, even as scrutiny intensifies over the technology's accuracy and fairness.

What's happening: From high-tech systems in Chicago and Detroit to ongoing tests in every corner of the country, law enforcement is taking advantage of near-total freedom to deploy the surveillance technology without oversight or public announcement.

Why it matters: These systems, which scan the faces of passersby — often without their knowledge — and compare them against databases of mugshots or wanted posters, can be inaccurate, or perform especially poorly on women and people with dark skin.

Details: Two reports from the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology released today, outline both a proliferation of facial recognition systems and the haphazard way they are often used.

  • Detroit quietly bought a million-dollar system that can recognize faces in real time as people walk by cameras scattered throughout the city, writes Clare Garvie, a senior associate at the Georgetown center.
  • Chicago has installed similar real-time screening systems that can compare faces from video surveillance to the city's database of roughly 7 million mug shots, according to the report. The city claims it does not use technology it is paying for.
  • Pilot projects all around the country — from Seattle and LA to Orlando and New York — suggest that this is only the beginning.

It's not just where the systems are deployed that worries privacy advocates — it's how they're used. In a closer look at New York's system, Garvie found that the police have arrested suspects after searching the software for lookalike celebrities, and has even searched based on police sketches. These tactics increase the probability of bad matches.

The context: This week, San Francisco passed the first outright ban on facial recognition, and several other cities are considering doing the same.

Go deeper: Uncovering secret government AI

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.