The ACLU of New Jersey and 25 partner organizations today provided comments to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General responding to its request for feedback on law enforcement’s use of facial recognition. Together, the organizations call on the Attorney General to institute a total ban on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. Facial recognition tools jeopardize New Jerseyans’ ability to live safe, private lives free of constant government intrusion and scrutiny, and discourage them from comfortably exercising their constitutional rights to speak freely, associate freely, or enjoy their neighborhoods freely. Facial recognition also poses an exceptionally high burden on over-policed communities of color, particularly in light of its higher rates of inaccuracy for people with darker skin.  

The comments were submitted on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey; All of Us or None, South Jersey; American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch; Antiracism in Action; Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey; Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice; Faith in New Jersey; Latino Action Network Foundation; LatinoJustice PRLDEF; Libertarians for Transparent Government; Make the Road New Jersey; National Organization for Women of New Jersey; New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice; New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence; New Jersey Office of the Public Defender; New Jersey Prison Justice Watch; Newark Communities for Accountable Policing; Our Revolution Essex; Our Revolution Monmouth; Our Revolution Trenton Mercer; People’s Organization for Progress; Salvation and Social Justice; Unidad Latina en Acción NJ; UU FaithAction NJ; Volunteer Lawyers for Justice; and Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center. 

Read the comments in full. 

The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-NJ Skadden Fellow Dillon Reisman: 

“The widespread use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement will lead to unchecked government scrutiny, violating New Jerseyans’ constitutional rights and harming their ability to live freely within their communities. Given their inherently biased uses against communities of color, facial recognition tools especially threaten Black and brown New Jerseyans by further exacerbating the consequences of racist over-policing. Law enforcement’s use of facial recognition tools is in direct conflict with the effort to build a fairer, more just New Jersey, and should be banned in all circumstances.”