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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Ten states have introduced bills in 2020 that would regulate, ban or study facial recognition systems, according to the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology.

The big picture: There is no federal regulation on this tech, despite consensus for guardrails from its creators and bipartisan support for its restraint in Congress.

What's new: States weren't as interested in facial recognition tech last year, according to Hayley Tsukayama, who monitors state surveillance legislation for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. But city-wide bans in Oakland, San Francisco and Cambridge proved that legislation was possible.

  • Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina and Washington state are proposing restrictions on law enforcement's use of facial recognition — when employed on its own or with body cameras. (The CEO of Axon, the largest supplier of body cameras to police in the U.S., expects the company to use facial recognition in 3-5 years.)
  • New Hampshire is calling for a total ban, while Michigan wants to ban "real-time" use — recognizing and capturing faces in public, in real time.
  • Vermont is concerned with notifying shoppers when facial recognition is used in stores, and Maryland proposes telling defendants if they were identified with the tech.

What's next for privacy advocates: Jameson Spivack, policy associate at Georgetown's privacy center, expects the bipartisan issue to "move beyond wealthy liberal bastions."

  • Maryland lawmakers are working on another bill to limit external agency access to the state's facial recognition system, which includes mugshot and driver's license photos, one Georgetown researcher said.
  • A New York bill banning biometric identification in school systems is expected to be reintroduced this year, the ACLU's Chad Marlow said. "I think if we had 72 more hours we would have passed it," he added.

Background: Big Tech companies selling facial recognition systems — like IBM, Microsoft and Amazon — have asked federal policymakers to judge how government agencies and law enforcement use the tech, and a few bipartisan measures have responded.

  • A recent federal study found that facial recognition systems offered by those companies largely failed to identify people of color, predominately Asians and African Americans. Amazon did not submit its algorithm to the study, per the Post.
  • IBM, Face ++ and Microsoft reduced accuracy issues for identifying darker-skinned women within 7 months of a 2018 MIT Media Lab study measuring those errors. MIT found that Amazon's system was the worst at identifying darker-skinned women, which the company has disputed.

Go deeper: Homeland Security drops controversial facial recognition plan

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The next worker fight: Time off for Juneteenth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Who gets paid time off to celebrate Juneteenth in the years to come will be uneven and complicated, if history is any guide.

Why it matters: Corporate America hasn't grappled with a new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was authorized almost 40 years ago. How they responded took years to evolve.

2 hours ago - World

UN assembly condemns Myanmar military coup

Protesters make the three-finger salute as they take part in a flash mob demonstration against the military coup. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The UN General Assembly on Friday condemned Myanmar's military coup and called for an arms embargo against the country, AP reports.

Why it matters: The rare move demonstrates widespread global opposition to Myanmar's military junta, which overthrew the country's democratically elected government and seized power on Feb. 1.

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the CIA to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.