San Francisco becomes first US city to ban facial recognition
May 16, 2019
San Francisco on Tuesday voted to ban the use of facial recognition software by the police or other agencies, becoming the first US city to do so.
The “Stop Secret Surveillance” ordinance, which was passed in an 8-to-1 vote by the Board of Supervisors, will further prevent city agencies from adopting any other type of surveillance tech until the public has been given notice and the board has had an opportunity to vote on it.
The ban hopes to deter potential abuse against minorities and innocent civilians. The legislation states that the technology, as it exists today, is unreliable, and represented an unnecessary infringement on people’s privacy and liberty. Particularly, the facial recognition is error prone when analyzing women or people with darker skin.
Opponents of the measure said it will put people’s safety at risk and hinder efforts to fight crime. Rather than an outright ban, many are calling for regulations of the technology. The authorities used the technology to help identify the suspect in the mass shooting at an Annapolis, Md., newspaper last June.
Later this month, Oakland, California, will weigh whether to institute its own ban. Washington state and Massachusetts are considering similar measures.
The ban on facial recognition does not apply to business, individuals or federal agencies.
North Carolina sued over transgender discrimination in state employee health care
March 11, 2019
Lambda Legal and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of current and former North Carolina state employees, alleging discrimination against transgender persons enrolled in health care coverage.
The plaintiffs argue that because treatment of gender dysphoria is categorically excluded from the health care coverage, the defendants “deny equal compensation for equal work.”
TLDEF alleges harm suffered by the plaintiffs due to the categorical exclusion of coverage for medically necessary gender-conforming heath care. This harm includes the costs that plaintiffs have incurred to pay for the health care out-of-pocket, while other plaintiffs have had to forego the health care.
The complaint claims that:
[T]he North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees’s targeted discrimination against transgender enrollees,  wrongly deems their health care needs as unworthy of equal coverage.
The lawsuit brings these claims on the basis of violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
Supreme Court declines to hear net neutrality case
November 5, 2018
The Supreme Court declined Monday to review a 2016 case brought by various broadband service providers challenging Federal Communications Commission (FCC) net neutrality protections from the Obama era. Leer el resto de esta entrada »
Historic Win for Massachusetts Transgender Protections Law Creates Pathway for Similar Fights Elsewhere
November 14, 2018
JURIST Guest Columnist Mason Dunn of the Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition discusses a recent victory in Massachusetts for transgender rights and the impact it could have around the country… Leer el resto de esta entrada »
The Impacts of the Shifting Definition of Sex Under the Law
November 04, 2018
While transgender people have existed since the dawn of time, the last decade has seen an increasing spotlight on the community and transgender people’s right to recognition and protection. While this has taken on many different angles, federal and state administrations have come under scrutiny in the last few weeks for choices to exclude transgender people from everyday protections. In Kansas, a lawsuit was recently filed against the state actors who enforce policies that do not allow transgender people to amend their birth certificates to recognize their gender identity. At the federal level, a leaked memo obtained by the New York Times showed that the Department of Health and Human Services is working to redefine nondiscrimination provisions based on sex under Title IX to exclude transgender people. Leer el resto de esta entrada »
Federal appeals court rules border agents may not search electronic devices without cause
May 10, 2018
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that US border authorities may not search detainees’ cell phones and other electronic devices without individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. Leer el resto de esta entrada »
What Will a Trump Administration Mean for International Agreements with the United States?
Source: Ejil Talk
December 13, 2016
On 20 January 2017, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. During the campaign, he spoke often about terminating landmark international agreements concluded by the Obama administration, including the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the normalization of relations with Cuba. Predicting what might actually happen in a Trump administration is difficult, because his statements as a private citizen, candidate and president-elect have been inconsistent. Leer el resto de esta entrada »