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Facial Recognition, Potent New Policing Tool, Raises Alarms

"We are at a moment where facial recognition is being marketed to communities while not being proven as public safety tools," said one ACLU lawyer

"Real-time" facial recognition has tremendous potential for crime prevention but it's also raising alarms for over the risk that it makes mistakes, NBC News reported.

The FBI and law enforcement agencies around the country have been using facial recognition databases for years, but the technology is advancing to the point where police can pick suspects out of a crowd on live video — that's reportedly already happening in China, and U.S. security agencies are testing it at some airports and border crossings.

One tech executive vowed never to sell such technology to police departments while another called on Congress to enact regulations on facial recognition, which is already used to tag people in Facebook photos and unlock iPhones.

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"We are at a moment where facial recognition is being marketed to communities while not being proven as public safety tools," said Matt Cagle, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

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