After sustained outcry from civil liberties groups, law enforcement agencies in San Diego County will eliminate their facial recognition platform on Jan. 1, 2020.
The Tactical Identification System (TACIDS) launched in 2012 gave local, state and federal agencies a common database of facial scans. Officers could use their phones and tablets to conduct searches and help them identify “uncooperative persons” and people of interest in their cases.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found that over 65,000 scans were performed by officers between 2016 and 2018.
“We just stopped one of the largest, longest running, and most controversial face recognition programs operated by local law enforcement in the United States,” Dave Maass, a senior investigative researcher for the EFF, wrote. “The end of San Diego’s program marks a major victory in the nationwide battle against face surveillance.”