Frontier Institute Statement In Support Of SB 397
Legislation will protect Montanans’ privacy
HELENA – Today the Frontier Institute offered support for SB 397, a bill that is the culmination of the legislature’s interim study of facial recognition technology. SB 397 follows Frontier Institute’s recommendations to create standards for government use of facial recognition to protect the privacy rights of Montanans.
“SB 397 takes a balanced approach to controlling the power of high-tech government surveillance,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO of the Frontier Institute. “SB 397 will protect the privacy rights of Montanans while also continuing to enable beneficial uses of facial recognition technology that support law enforcement and make our government more efficient.”
SB 397 makes several key reforms, including:
- Prohibits continuous facial recognition surveillance, likely the most concerning government application of facial recognition technology for privacy rights.
- Requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant to execute a search using facial recognition technology.
- Requires contractors providing facial recognition verification services to government agencies to adopt privacy and retention standards.
During the legislature’s interim study, Frontier Institute called attention to two key privacy concerns with government use of facial recognition technology in Montana:
- No uniform standard, such as requiring a warrant, for the use of facial recognition by law enforcement.
- No uniform standard, such as requiring a warrant, for law enforcement to access civilian facial recognition databases.