May 14, 2019

San Francisco becomes first major U.S. city to ban facial recognition tech

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized the first ban in a major U.S. city for the use of facial recognition technology by police and municipal agencies.

Why it matters, according to Axios' Kaveh Waddell: This will be the strongest oversight of government facial recognition in the U.S., and it could set the pace for other cities considering similar measures.

The big picture: The technology is used for police investigations across the country — though not currently in San Francisco — but critics say it's too inaccurate and can be abused. “The thrust of this legislation is not to get rid of surveillance technology. It’s to let the government and the public know how that technology is used," said supervisor Aaron Peskin, who introduced the bill.

Details: The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance bill is twofold:

  1. It bans face recognition tech by the city government.
  2. It requires departments that want to use the technology to first submit proposals and post public notices.

But, but, but: Federal law enforcement is exempt, so airport authorities like TSA would be unaffected by the measure.

Go deeper: The facial recognition face-off

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Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 hours ago - Health