UCLA facial recognition surveillance
Occurred: February 2020
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has abandoned plans to install facial recognition after a backlash from students and others concerned about its potential for discrimination, surveillance, and impact on privacy.
UCLA had announced (pdf) in September 2018 that it was planning to introduce facial recognition in order to improve campus safety and centralise campus security camera systems and give university police access to footage during emergencies.
The move resulted in a backlash from students and a campaign by digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future, which used Amazon's facial recognition software Rekognition on UCLA sportspeople amnd faculty to demonstrate the technology's capacity for delivering false matches.
Backing down from the plan, UCLA Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck said, 'the potential benefits are limited and are vastly outweighed by the concerns of the campus community.' UCLA would have been the first university in the US to adopt facial recognition.
Purpose: Strengthen security; Increase safety
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Bias/disrimination - race, ethnicity; Effectiveness/value; Privacy; Surveillance
Fight for the Future (2020). Backlash forces UCLA to abandon plans for facial recognition surveillance on campus
Fight for the Future (2020). Letter from 40+ civil society organizations: ban facial recognition on college campuses
Daily Bruin Editorial Board (2020). Implementing facial recognition tech would be a violation of students’ privacy
News, commentary, analysis
Published: March 2023