CCTV-camera
(Image: Adobe)

As the profound flaws and poor track record of facial recognition become apparent, Australian lawmakers, especially at the state level, look set to be left behind in an international move to block a technology that is already wrecking lives.

Overnight, Boston banned the technology, following Oakland and San Francisco which banned it last year. Boston's ban had the support of the Boston police, who declared the technology unreliable. States such as California, New Hampshire, and Oregon have more limited bans and a number of other states have restrictions on its use.

A late 2019 paper by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology examined both one-to-one matching (matching a facial image with another facial image) and one-to-many (matching a facial image to a database of images). One-to-one facial recognition had a vastly higher rate of false positives for Asian, African-American and Native American faces, while one-to-many systems had a significantly high rate of false positives for African-American women.