Biometric Privacy Legal Landscape Legislative Developments & Trends

Montana Passes Law Regulating Facial Recognition Use by Police

Jason C. Hirsch |

Montana recently passed the Facial Recognition for Government Use Act (“FRGUA”), which permits state and local agencies, including law enforcement, to use facial recognition to look for suspects, victims of, or witnesses to serious crimes. However, FRGUA prohibits the use of “continuous” facial recognition and establishes human review and audit procedures to ensure compliance with the technology. FRGUA requires police to obtain a warrant to use facial recognition absent exigent circumstances. It also restricts the state motor vehicle division to set up facial recognition only with prior approval of the legislature.

In terms of disclosure, third-party vendors of facial technology and public agencies must have use and privacy policies for individuals. Finally, FRGUA imposes monetary penalties for negligent violations of the statute and grants the attorney general the authority to initiate enforcement actions.

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