ACLU Criticizes State’s Facial Recognition Program

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio on Aug. 26 asked Attorney General Mike DeWine to temporarily shut down a facial recognition program used by law enforcement.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio on Aug. 26 asked Attorney General Mike DeWine to shut down a facial recognition program used by law enforcement until state officials verify and develop safety protocols that protect Ohioans’ rights to privacy.

DeWine formally announced the program’s existence in a press conference earlier that day. It allows police officers and civilian employees to use a photo to search databases for names and contact information. Previously, law enforcement officials needed a name or address to search such databases.

The program has been live for more than two months and so far used for 2,677 searches. In that time span, the program was kept hidden from the public and hasn’t been checked by outside groups for proper safety protocols.

The attorney general’s office is just now putting together an independent panel of judges, public defenders, chiefs of police, sheriffs and other public safety officials to look at the program and gauge whether currently standing protections are adequate.

DeWine said the independent group will be given 60 days to come up with recommendations for the program. 

Scroll to read more Cincinnati News articles

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.