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UCLA drops hotly debated face recognition plan

A major California university has dropped plans to use facial recognition for the surveillance of the campus. 

The idea was to have the University of California Los Angeles use facial recognition as a way to gain access to buildings, to prove authenticity and deny entry to people with restricted access to the campus, matching their faces against a database.

Fight for the Future, an advocacy group, had tested UCLA’s facial recognition software and found that “dozens” of student-athletes and professors were incorrectly matched with photos from a mugshot database, “and the overwhelming majority of those misidentified were people of color.”

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In a letter posted on the group’s Medium post, UCLA vice-chancellor Michael Beck says the school determined that the potential benefits of facial recognition “are limited and are vastly outweighed by the concerns of the campus community.”

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