Banning the Usage of Facial Recognition Technology in Somerville

October 7, 2021
3:00-4:00pm ET
Halligan 102, Zoom
Speaker: Kade Crockford & Ben Ewen-Campen, City of Somervile, MA
Host: Bert Huang


In 2019, the City of Somerville made a groundbreaking decision to ban government use of face surveillance technology. The city ordinance cites reasons such as the technology’s lower reliability for identify faces of “women, young people, and people of color,” the racial biases of databases used for recognition, and risks to free speech. This ordinance was the first of its kind on the East Coast. For this seminar, we will hear from two individual who played crucial roles in this decision. Kade Crockford directs the Massachusetts ACLU Technology for Liberty Program, which works to protect core liberties from being encroached by new technology. Ben Ewen-Campen is a Somerville City Councilor and was the lead sponsor for the ordinance. Tufts Computer Science faculty member Bert Huang will moderate a discussion. Audience questions will be welcome and encouraged.


Kade Crockford is the Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. Kade works to protect and expand core First and Fourth Amendment rights and civil liberties in the digital 21st century, focusing on how systems of surveillance and control impact not just the society in general but their primary targets—people of color, Muslims, immigrants, and dissidents.

Ben Ewen-Campen was elected to the Somerville City Council in 2017, and is also a biologist in the Genetics Department at the Harvard Medical School.

Please join meeting in Halligan 102 (in-person) or via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 971 8312 0811

Password: See colloquium email

Dial by your location: +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 971 8312 0811

Passcode: See colloquium email