San Francisco is the first city in the USA to ban facial recognition. The city has said police and other departments cannot use the software. The city already uses surveillance cameras for car number plates, and the police wear body cameras. Facial recognition is at airports. Officials want to start facial recognition to increase security. They said it would be cheaper and faster for police to find crime suspects and to identify missing people. An information technology expert said: "A ban on facial recognition will make [San Francisco] frozen in time with out-dated technology."
Many people oppose the technology. It is widely used in other parts of the world. A San Francisco official said facial recognition was a "Big Brother" technology. Big Brother is a character in the book "1984". The phrase Big Brother is used to describe attempts by governments to control and spy on citizens. The official said: "We can have security without being a security state. We can have good policing without being a police state." He added: "Part of that is building trust with the community based on good community information, not on Big Brother technology."