Video Surveillance, Facial Recognition Technology, and the Law

Omnipresent video surveillance and facial recognition technology have staked a new frontier in the American legal system, as local communities, state officials, and even the U.S. Supreme Court consider questions about surveillance, technology, and privacy.

Ohio law enforcement has been using facial recognition technology to match driver’s license photos and surveillance footage for months, without telling the public.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine dismissed his critics, stating, “the odds are that their state does exactly—exactly—what we’re doing.” While DeWine is right (26 other states use facial recognition technology in law enforcement) questions regarding Americans’ right to anonymity in public places remain.

DeWine discussed the Enquirer’s investigation on Monday, telling reporters, “Frankly, we never thought—I never thought—that there would be a big concern about it, simply because over half the states do it. It’s a natural extension of what law enforcement has done in the past.”

Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center and professor at George Washington University Law School, describes the current law on surveillance and facial recognition technology, and discusses how the law may change in the years to come.