OLYMPIA – 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 (D-White Center), 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.”