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Taskforce makes recommendations for Ohio's facial recognition program

Ohio AG will review them before final decisions
Ohio AG Dave Yost
Posted at 3:51 PM, Feb 20, 2020

COLUMBUS — Amid concerns over the use and possible abuse of facial recognition tactics by police in Ohio, Attorney General Dave Yost received recommendations Thursday on how to use the technology.

RELATED: Law enforcement loves facial recognition. The falsely accused don’t.

You might remember Attorney General Yost got together a task force last fall to examine the questions surrounding how to handle facial recognition, all while Yost put tighter restrictions on who gets access to current facial recognition technology.

That task force laid out more than a dozen recommendations for Yost to keep in mind.

One of the more interesting recommendations from the task force is that "the attorney general should declare a moratorium on the use of 'live' facial recognition," — things like crowd scanning photos or video.

Also, the AG "should limit access to the facial recognition database to trained professionals at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation."

Several recommendations focus on high standards that surround surveillance of people, maintenance of the system, and accuracy of how Ohio's system works.

There's also a recommendation about the quality of the photos stored. They need a high standard, and the system should get rid of images that don't meet the standard.

"This is no substitute for police work,” said Yost during Thursday’s announcement. “Facial recognition technology is a tool to develop leads. It is the beginning of the investigatory process. It is not the conclusion of it."

Yost will take several weeks to review the recommendations before making any decisions about the Ohio facial recognition program.

He said the new system will be monitored and updated on a consistent basis to keep pace with excelling technology.

The previous restrictions on who uses facial recognition are still in place for now.

He told us the company NEC Corp will provide the software for Ohio's system by March of 2021.

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