AI, drones, cameras: San Francisco mayor's “arsenal” against crime revealed

This has raised privacy concerns. San Francisco will vote next week on a controversial proposal that would give police new powers to use surveillance cameras, drones and artificial intelligence-based facial recognition systems. The proposal, put forward by Mayor London Breed, aims to address “street crime and drug use in the city,” but has sparked heated debate about privacy and the potential for abuse. DiscussAI, drones, cameras: San Francisco mayor's 'arsenal' against crime revealed © Ferra

While San Francisco is known for its “progressive” stance and became the first major U.S. city to ban facial recognition in 2019, Mayor Breed, who is up for re-election in November, defends precautions and highlights the ubiquity of technology in everyday life. “People worry about privacy rights,” she admits, “but technology is all around us. They will come whether we like it or not.”

However, opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, express deep concern. They talk about the disproportionate impact on marginalized populations, the potential for wrongful arrests due to flaws in facial recognition technology, and the need for stronger oversight.