Governor Baker today proposed amendments to the omnibus policing bill. Among other amendments, the new bill cuts proposed regulations to face surveillance technology.

Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response:

“In the wake of nationwide protests for police reform and racial justice, the Massachusetts legislature passed a compromise bill to address police misconduct and violence in our state. In light of Governor Baker’s proposed amendments to the bill, we urge the House and Senate to stand firm, and send language back to Governor Baker that meaningfully protects Massachusetts communities from over-policing, excessive use of force, and invasive unchecked surveillance.

“Unfortunately, Governor Baker rejected a crucial due process provision that would protect Massachusetts residents from unregulated police use of face surveillance technology, which has been proven to unfairly target Black and brown people, leading to the arrest of innocent people. Unchecked police use of surveillance technology also harms everyone’s rights to anonymity, privacy, and free speech. We urge the legislature to reject Governor Baker’s amendment and to ensure passage of commonsense regulations of government use of face surveillance.”

-  Section 26 will prevent racially biased, discriminatory surveillance technology from being used to track ordinary people as they go about their lives, including at schools, outside health care facilities, and more.
-  Section 26 does not impose a total moratorium or ban on government use of facial recognition technology, but instead establishes regulations.
-  Section 26 allows police to use existing facial recognition technology at the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), in serious criminal investigations and in emergencies, to identify individual people suspected of violent crime.
-  Specifically, Section 26 permits government use of facial recognition technology in three contexts:
-  The RMV can continue to use its existing system to investigate fraud;
-  Law enforcement officers can obtain warrants to ask the RMV to search its system to try to identify suspects in serious crimes;
-  In life-threatening emergencies, law enforcement officers can directly ask the RMV to perform searches to prevent imminent loss of life or physical harm.

For more information about face surveillance technology in Massachusetts, go to:

For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts’ work on racial justice and policing, go to: