Ban Facial Recognition in Somerville!

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We, the undersigned, are calling for a ban on Facial Recognition software by the City of Somerville, for law enforcement purposes or otherwise. 

Facial Recognition software is functionally equivalent to requiring every citizen or visitor in Somerville to carry and display a  identification card in all public places. This surveillance technology therefore represents a mass violation of privacy that is fundamentally opposed to Somerville values. 

Furthermore, we are deeply troubled by the documented racial biases in existing Facial Recognition softwares and corresponding database, which could lead to exacerbating and enhancing existing biases in law enforcement, as referenced by ACLU Massachusetts (

The costs of Facial Recognition Software far outweigh any potential benefits, and we therefore ask that Somerville ban such surveillance technology. We support City Councilor Ewen-Campen's proposed Ordinance that would prohibit the use of Facial Recognition Software by the City of Somerville. Somerville can and should lead on this issue, to protect our community's civil liberties, and to help set a new precedent for other communities.