ACLU Condemns Detroit Board of Police Commissioners’ Vote to Approve Detroit Police Department’s Facial Recognition Technology Policy

ACLU Statement on Detroit Board of Police Commissioners’ Thursday Vote

Affiliate: ACLU of Michigan
September 19, 2019 4:00 pm

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ACLU of Michigan
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DETROIT – Today the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners approved the Detroit Police Department’s (DPD) proposed facial recognition technology policy in an 8 – 3 vote without public comment.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) together with a diverse coalition of local civil rights organizations urged the Board to reject DPD’s use of facial recognition technology by mailing a joint letter last month, then in public testimony at weekly Board meetings, and submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the City of Detroit and DPD seeking records regarding how the technology is used and safeguards DPD has put in place among other things. While DPD’s revised policy narrowed the intended use of the surveillance technology, the ACLU and coalition oppose its use in any form.

Rodd Monts, Campaign Outreach Coordinator of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, had this reaction:

“The Board of Police Commissioners jeopardized the right to privacy of everyone who lives and works in this city by approving the Detroit Police Department’s use of facial recognition technology. This undermines Detroiters’ relationships and trust with their law enforcement, and will likely disparately impact people of color as research shows.”

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