SIGNED: West Seattle State Sen. Joe Nguyen’s facial-recognition bill finalized by governor

The State Legislature is done for the year, and Gov. Inslee continues to sign bills. Today, one of them included high-profile legislation by 34th District State Sen. Joe Nguyen of West Seattle. Here’s the announcement:

Gov. Jay Inslee today signed into law comprehensive regulations on the use of facial recognition technology in Washington.

Senate Bill 6280, sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen, prohibits the use of facial recognition technology for ongoing surveillance and limits its use to acquiring evidence of serious criminal offense following authorization of a search warrant.

“Right now, we have seen this technology already being used without much concern for the moral implications that are associated with it,” said Nguyen. “This bill will change that, and ensure that facial recognition isn’t being used unless there are regulatory checks and balances.”

Given reports of the technology’s bias against women, trans individuals, and people of color, SB 6280 establishes guidelines and oversight to protect against discriminatory applications.

“Now is the time to really work on this and find ways to root out the bias, so people across the country can be protected from unnecessary and intrusive surveillance,” Nguyen said.

The bill requires agencies using the technology to produce an accountability report outlining its intended use. Additionally, the use of facial recognition technology would be subject to formal review to ensure accurate representation.

“This bill begins the process of catching our laws up to where our technology is at,” said Nguyen. “I’m proud that Washington is the leader on this issue.”

16 Replies to "SIGNED: West Seattle State Sen. Joe Nguyen's facial-recognition bill finalized by governor"

  • Sillygoose March 31, 2020 (3:33 pm)

    Yes!!! I love this give our law enforcement every tool possible to stop the criminals.  I don’t want to see any post about your F’N privacy when you choose to break the law you also broke your right to privacy!! Cameras on every corner, on every bus!  Tired of this crime ridden, dirty city! Now lets get our officers in bullet proof cars, update their vehicles and get these precincts full!! 

    • Lagartija Nick March 31, 2020 (4:23 pm)

      You didn’t understand this at all, did you?

      • Chuck March 31, 2020 (7:37 pm)

        Hahahahaha! No, I think SillyGoose read the headline and that’s all. Perhaps it should have read “anti” facial-recognition bill. Chalk one up for personal rights. Tough thing to do in this town. 

    • PROHIBITS March 31, 2020 (4:25 pm)

      Senate Bill 6280, sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen, prohibits the use of facial recognition technology for ongoing surveillance and limits its use to acquiring evidence of serious criminal offense following authorization of a search warrant.

    • Eric1 March 31, 2020 (4:30 pm)

      Lol you Silly Goose (sorry, I couldn’t resist).  It all depends upon what politicians determine is a “serious” crime.  To me, serious is anything above petty theft; to politicians, even DUI doesn’t seem to be taken seriously. Besides, in Seattle, it is common knowledge that the police already do a decent job arresting criminals.  Prosecuting and actually punishing criminals is where the problem lies. 

    • mok4315 March 31, 2020 (4:31 pm)

      Sillygoose, I don’t think you read the bill…

    • Bradley March 31, 2020 (8:23 pm)

      Sorry to ruin your police-state, Authoritarian fantasy, but the new law protects Washingtonians from the tyranny of a surveillance State.

  • Pilsner March 31, 2020 (5:34 pm)

    Tinfoil n95 respirators?

  • steve March 31, 2020 (5:50 pm)

    Thumbs up Sen. Joe Nguyen!! 

  • Sillygoose March 31, 2020 (6:30 pm)

    Ah dang it! That’s what I get for reading on my small screen.

  • Joan March 31, 2020 (7:29 pm)

    Might be hard to scan us all with masks! 

  • Brian March 31, 2020 (8:01 pm)

    Boo, hiss.  I believe video surveillance sould be used as an effective crime fighting tool. his. The data in court is just another piece of evidence.

  • Pilsner April 1, 2020 (8:15 am)

    Why stop at monitering criminals? The city might as well sell the tracking info to advertisers and retailers to better accomidate our consumption needs.

  • Mickymse April 1, 2020 (3:09 pm)

    Considering all of the cameras on ATMs and outside private business entrances, plus all the Ring cameras that folks point at their porches and driveways, I don’t think it’s going to help protect us all that much. I mean, yay?, police need a warrant to get that footage, but plenty of citizens are just taking that footage and putting it online already.

  • Amanda April 1, 2020 (5:20 pm)

    Could someone explain why we needed a law to protect us from this? Is there already a  surveillance going on? I knew about the whole phone/computer/apps/websites tracking your every move and all the stuff that comes with that thanks to Snowden, but I didn’t know anything was being implemented out in cities? Did they already okay it a while back and I just never heard about it? 

  • Tim Weston April 12, 2020 (11:19 am)

    Here is a better account of the legislation. Microsoft lobbied heavily for its passage: fact: Joe Nguyen is a Microsoft employee. Not in dispute: this bill is far from a “ban” on or a “prevention” of the use of facial recognition. All it does is set a few very basic prerequisites for law enforcement to employ it. This is definitely not a win for privacy advocates, but it definitely is a Microsoft employee doing Microsoft’s bidding. For Joe to tout this as a pro-privacy accomplishment is highly disingenuous. He just lost my vote because of that. 

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