Reinbold on Choosing Equality over Technology

Patric Reinbold (University of Wisconsin – Madison, School of Law) has posted “Facing Discrimination: Choosing Equality over Technology” to SSRN. Here is the abstract:

On its face, facial recognition technology poses advantages in the form of efficiency and cost-savings in sectors of society such as law enforcement, education, employment, and healthcare. However, these advantages perpetuate indirect forms of discrimination through unequal access to the technology’s benefits and—more significantly—direct forms of discrimination such as falsely identifying Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as suspects of crimes disproportionately. Facial recognition technology offers several opportunities to inject bias into its performance: through biased algorithm design, recycling racial bias in the form of past law enforcement data, and through biased user applications.

The precautionary principle warns against regulating a technology before it is fully developed and implemented, but the consequences of allowing this technology to go unregulated are overcome by the startling implications on racial discrimination in the United States. Therefore, this technology should be regulated before any further harm is done. This Comment analyzes the legislation proposed to regulate facial recognition technology by considering the longevity and breadth of the proposed regulations.