“Should Government Halt the Use of Facial-Recognition Technology?”

The Wall Street Journal ran one of its point-counterpoint debates over the weekend; this one treating the topic in this post’s title.

The debaters focused on the error rate of the technology and whether that was a big deal or a little one; although there was passing mention of civil liberty problems.

I say the question is over-broad.

Government should not only halt its own use of facial recognition software; it should be statutorily barred from it. We haven’t, yet, been overrun by the People’s Republic of China. The civil liberty—the individual liberty—matter is much too serious to be glossed over, and this is one venue where the line is better drawn at zero rather than trusting Government (which is to say, the men of Government) to go this far but no farther.

The question of its commercial use is a separate one from Government’s use or not use. This question should have a market answer, arrived at by customers and the businesses with which we interact.

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