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ACLU seeks Louisiana State Police facial recognition records

5 months 2 weeks 39 minutes ago Wednesday, February 10 2021 Feb 10, 2021 February 10, 2021 5:35 AM February 10, 2021 in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana said Tuesday it is suing state police for records regarding the use of facial recognition technology.

The organization’s executive director, Alanah Odoms, filed a public records request in September 2019 for records referencing facial recognition software used by Louisiana State Police and about training of state police by a software company, according to the suit.

The ACLU is among advocacy groups that have raised concerns about the growing use of facial recognition software in public venues. The lawsuit cited concerns that the technology is used to surveil people without their knowledge and that it contributes to racial profiling.

“Many commentators have criticized facial recognition as extremely faulty technology that raises issues of racial justice because it falsely identifies people of color as criminals,” the lawsuit said.

It said state police claimed not to maintain records “responsive” to Odoms’ request regarding software. The state police attorney also said some of the records sought would be exempt from state public records law.

In a news release accompanying the lawsuit, the ACLU said there is evidence that Louisiana State Police does have records sought by Odoms.

“Last year, following a separate public records request, the ACLU of Louisiana obtained nearly 50 pages of email requests from the New Orleans Police Department to the Louisiana State Police Fusion Center asking LSP to use facial recognition on various photos and video stills,” the ACLU statement, and the lawsuit, said.

“Upon receiving the lawsuit, our department will review with our legal staff,” state police Lt. Nick Manale said in an email. “We will not be able to provide statements on pending litigation.”

The lawsuit also disputes the contention by state police that some of the records are exempt from public records law.

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