If Mike DeWine had to it to do over, he surely would have appointed a task force to review safeguards and procedures before launching new facial-recognition technology. As it was, the Ohio attorney general didnít know his office had moved forward in June, that slip in management fueling outrage, a sizeable share overblown.
As part of catching up, DeWine asked two former Ohio Supreme Court justices, Yvette McGee Brown and Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, to lead a panel in examining the program. There is room for abuse, especially in the realm of privacy, the technology with a dark side even as it represents a leap forward in using the array of mug shots and other photographs available to law enforcement.
On Friday, the panel reported its findings and recommendations. It rightly advised that only law enforcement have access to the technology, other agencies and offices following tight procedures to gain permission. To ensure effective accountability, it proposed that one person be in charge and responsible for the operation. The panel added another sensible step, a steering committee to oversee such things as protocols and training.
With the recent revelations about the National Security Agency, it is understandable to worry about the use of technology getting out of hand. It also is worth stressing, as the panel did, that facial-recognition technology serves the public in bringing greater precision to fighting crime.