The Minneapolis City Council is the legislative body that governs the city of Minneapolis. It consists of 13 members, each representing a different ward in the city. The Council is responsible for passing ordinances, approving the city budget, and setting policies for the city government. In recent years, the Minneapolis City Council has been in the spotlight due to its adoption of the Clearview initiative, which has been praised by some and criticized by others. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Minneapolis City Council Clearview initiative, exploring its benefits, criticisms, and implications for the city.
What is Clearview?
Clearview is a controversial facial recognition technology developed by the company Clearview AI. The software uses a database of over three billion images scraped from social media platforms and other websites to match faces captured by surveillance cameras to identities. Law enforcement agencies have used the technology to identify suspects, but it has also raised concerns about privacy, civil rights, and potential abuse.
The Minneapolis City Council Clearview Initiative
In July 2020, the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution banning the use of facial recognition technology by the city’s police department. However, the solution also created a working group to explore the potential use of facial recognition technology by other city departments, such as the Department of Public Works and the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development. The working group was tasked with developing a policy framework for the use of facial recognition technology that would ensure transparency, accountability, and equity.
The working group released its report in December 2020, recommending that the city adopt Clearview for limited purposes. The report suggested that Clearview could be used to assist with the identification of suspects in serious crimes, such as homicides and sexual assaults, and to assist with missing person investigations. The report also recommended that Clearview be subject to strict guidelines, including requirements for data security, public notification, and third-party audits.
Benefits of Clearview
Advocates of Clearview argue that the technology can help law enforcement agencies solve crimes more quickly and efficiently, potentially reducing crime rates. They also say that Clearview can help locate missing persons and identify victims of human trafficking. Furthermore, supporters claim that Clearview is more accurate than traditional facial recognition software, as it uses a more extensive and diverse database of images.
Criticism of Clearview
Opponents of Clearview argue that technology poses a significant threat to privacy and civil liberties. They claim that Clearview’s database contains images of innocent individuals who have not consented to use their pictures for facial recognition. Additionally, critics argue that Clearview has a high potential for abuse, as it allows law enforcement agencies to conduct mass surveillance and track individuals without their knowledge or consent.
Implications for Minneapolis
The adoption of Clearview by the Minneapolis City Council has significant implications for the city. On the one hand, using Clearview could help law enforcement agencies solve severe crimes and assist with missing person investigations. On the other hand, using Clearview raises concerns about privacy, civil rights, and potential abuse. Additionally, the adoption of Clearview could further erode trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, particularly communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by police violence and surveillance.
The Minneapolis City Council Clearview initiative is a controversial policy that has generated praise and criticism. While Clearview has the potential to help law enforcement agencies solve crimes and locate missing persons, it also raises significant concerns about privacy, civil rights, and the potential for abuse. As the city grapples with issues of police reform and community safety, the adoption of Clearview will likely continue to be a topic of debate and discussion. Ultimately,