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Legislation would set limits on use of facial recognition technology by Massachusetts law enforcement

Police have the ability to tap into surveillance cameras such as this one outside Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts.

A warrant would be needed for a facial recognition search

The Massachusetts House has passed a bill to regulate law enforcement use of facial recognition technology.

State Representative Orlando Ramos of Springfield filed an amendment to a judiciary bond bill to codifying the recommendations of a commission that was established by the legislature to investigate the use of the controversial technology.

It passed by a 149-4 vote and is now pending in the State Senate.

It is an issue Ramos has been working on since his time as a Springfield City Councilor when he authored an ordinance banning the use of facial surveillance technology by the Springfield Police Department.

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Ramos.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.