After EPIC-Led Coalition Letter, DC Area Facial Recognition System Will Shut Down

May 14, 2021

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) informed EPIC today that the National Capital Region Facial Recognition System (NCR-FRILS) will be shut down by July 1, 2021. The system is used by police departments and government agencies in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. EPIC led a coalition that recently sent a letter to the MWCOG demanding an end to the system citing the dangerous nature of facial recognition and racial bias in facial recognition software. A recently passed law in Virginia requiring approval from the General Assembly before using facial recognition was going to curtail NCR-FRILS use in that state. The facial recognition system was first disclosed last year after it was used to identify a protester at a Black Lives Matter rally who was accused of assault.

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