senate Bill S79

2021-2022 Legislative Session

Prohibits the use of biometric surveillance technology by law enforcement; establishes the biometric surveillance regulation task force; and provides for the expiration and repeal of certain provisions

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Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Senate Committee Internet And Technology Committee

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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view actions (3)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 05, 2022 referred to internet and technology
Feb 24, 2021 committee discharged and committed to internet and technology
Jan 06, 2021 referred to finance


view additional co-sponsors

S79 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Senate Internet And Technology
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Add §§837-w & 235, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Other Legislative Sessions:
2019-2020: S7572, A9767
2023-2024: S1609, A1891

S79 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Prohibits the use of biometric surveillance technology by law enforcement; establishes the biometric surveillance regulation task force; provides for the expiration and repeal of certain provisions.

S79 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

S79 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                     S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
                        2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                             I N  S E N A T E
                              January 6, 2021
   twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
   Committee on Finance
 AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to prohibiting the use of
   biometric surveillance technology by law enforcement; establishing the
   biometric  surveillance  regulation  task force; and providing for the
   repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof
   Section  1. Legislative intent. The legislature finds and declares the
   (a) The use of biometric  surveillance  technology  has  been  largely
 unregulated  by  all  levels of government in the United States to date,
 allowing its unfettered use by private  entities,  government,  and  law
 enforcement  with  little to no requirements or restrictions relating to
 use, data retention, privacy protections, and use of information derived
 from such systems in law enforcement investigations. In New  York,  this
 lack  of regulation and oversight has led to concerning practices by law
 enforcement, such as including sealed  mugshots  and  arrest  photos  of
 juveniles in facial recognition databases and running photos of celebri-
 ty lookalikes through facial recognition software to attempt to identify
 potential suspects.
   (b)  Studies  of currently available biometric surveillance technology
 demonstrate that such technology's consistency  and  accuracy  can  vary
 widely  based on age, gender, sex, race, and other factors, and has been
 found to be particularly inaccurate when used on  women,  young  people,
 and people of color.
   (c)  These accuracy concerns are particularly troubling in the context
 of this technology's ongoing and increasing use by law enforcement.  New
 York's  law  enforcement  should  not rely on technology that has demon-

  EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets


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