Axon has promised its police body cameras won't use facial recognition software.



The manufacturer has made a decision after consulting an ethics board which said the technology isn't accurate enough yet to be used by law enforcement.

Axon's Jim Bueermann - a member of the company's board of ethics who also served as president of the National Police Foundation - said: "Until face recognition can accurately help law enforcement officers identify individuals, the Board agrees that it should be kept off body cameras."

ACLU Northern California attorney Matt Cagle has applauded Axon for its decision, and while he suggested Amazon and Microsoft should adopt a similar stance.

However, he still insisted the facial recognition technology shouldn't be used in police body cameras even if the software does become more accurate.

He said in a statement: "Body cameras should be for police accountability, not surveillance of communities.

"Face surveillance technology is ripe for discrimination and abuse, and fundamentally incompatible with body cameras - regardless of its accuracy."

In April, Microsoft claimed it turned down a facial recognition request from law enforcement in California to use its technology in police body cameras and cars.

The company's president Brad Smith - who didn't name the law enforcement in question - explained at the time that there were concerns the use of the facial recognition software would disproportionately affect minorities and women.

In the past, research has shown that with the technology being trained primarily on white and male face, other individuals carried a higher error rate.

Smith said: "Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan. We said this technology is not your answer."