Facial recognition action ideas and planning

Hi all, there seems to be a lot of motivation around taking action on facial recognition, so I wanted to start a separate thread to do some planning. I see at least two major directions that our groups can take:

  • Working on municipal bans around facial recognition (even in cities where this has already happened, like San Francisco, there are things that can be done – eg getting the law expanded to prevent private companies from using this technology). This can even be in the form of resources for our patrons to work on this without our direct involvement.

  • Getting ALA to take an official position banning facial recognition in libraries and from vendors. This requires us to do some significant powermapping of ALA, and fortunately we will learn a little about powermapping while we’re in NYC!

With either of these actions, I think we need to start with some strong language defining the problem and articulating a demand. Below is the language that the ACLU is using for their facial recognition legislation in Somerville.

Ordinance: Banning the usage of facial technology surveillance in Somerville
WHEREAS, the broad application of face surveillance in public spaces is the functional equivalent of requiring every person to carry and display a personal photo identification card at all times.
WHEREAS, face surveillance technology has been shown to be far less accurate in identifying the faces of women, young people, and people of color, and that such inaccuracies place certain persons at an elevated risk of harmful “false positive” identifications.
WHEREAS many of the databases to which face surveillance technology is applied are plagued by racial and other biases, which generate copycat biases in face surveillance data.
WHEREAS, the public use of face surveillance can chill the exercise of constitutionally protected free speech.
WHEREAS, the broad application of face surveillance in public spaces is the functional equivalent of requiring every person to carry and display a personal photo identification card at all times.
WHEREAS, the benefits of using face surveillance, which are few and speculative, are greatly outweighed by its harms, which are substantial.
Section 1. Definitions.
(A) “Face surveillance” shall mean an automated or semi-automated process that assists in identifying an individual, capturing information about an individual, based on the physical characteristics of an individual’s face.
(B) “Face surveillance system” shall mean any computer software or application that performs face surveillance.
© “Somerville” shall mean any department, agency, bureau, and/or subordinate division of the City of Somerville.(D) “Somerville official” shall mean any person or entity acting on behalf of the Somerville , including any officer, employee, agent, contractor, subcontractor, or vendor.

SECTION 2. Ban on Government Use of Face Surveillance.
(A) It shall be unlawful for Somerville or any Somerville official to obtain, retain, access, or use:
(1) Any face surveillance system; or
(2) Any information obtained from a face surveillance system.

SECTION 3. Enforcement.
(A) Suppression. No data collected or derived from any use of face surveillance in violation of this Somerville and no evidence derived therefrom may be received in evidence in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority subject to the jurisdiction of the City of Somerville. Face surveillance data collected or derived in violation of this Ordinance shall be considered unlawfully obtained, and shall be deleted upon discovery.
(B) Cause of Action. Any violation of this Ordinance constitutes an injury and any person may institute proceedings for injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or writ of mandate in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this Ordinance. An action instituted under this paragraph shall be brought against the respective City department, and the City and, if necessary to effectuate compliance with this Ordinance, any other governmental agency with possession, custody, or control of data subject to this Ordinance.
© Statutory Damages. Any person who has been subjected to face recognition in violation of this Ordinance, or about whom information has been obtained, retained, accessed, or used in violation of this Ordinance, may institute proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction against the City and shall be entitled to recover actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages of $1,000 or $100 for each violation, whichever is greater.
(D) Fees. A court shall award costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees to a plaintiff who is the prevailing party in an action brought under Section 3(B) or ©.
(E) Training. Violations of this Ordinance by a City employee shall result in consequences that may include retraining, suspension, or termination, subject to due process requirements.

So I think the next steps are to figure out who wants to work on what and come up with some action items. Kade wants to stay apprised of whatever work we end up doing.

Who’s in?


I would like to contact my union reps and see if threats like facial recognition and other surveillance technologies affecting workers in the library have come up and how they’ve been handled. I can report back?

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That sounds great @Maty_C!

I suppose this is a much better route than the petty vandalism that came to my mind. I’m in. Not sure how much time I have right now with ALA and such coming up. But I’m 100% on board.

@_TJ I would never advocate for property destruction on a public, recorded forum. I do however believe in a diversity of tactics.


This sounds like fun!-- and will keep us busy :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I mentioned in the other thread that I am going to be speaking with ALA-Washington DC (July 11th – she asked that I wait until after ALA Conference) about Communications work and, I can definitely fold in a few questions about “how ALA works” and recommended pathways to have our desired impact. I can also ask her about what she would need from regional ALA chapters to motivate ALA. I already have the keys to NELA & MLA PR channels, so… there’s not much in the way from posting content, advocating or discussing topics, but I cannot/will not issue official positions without direction from the association.

Action items = great idea!

Let’s come up with a list of potential partners (people, orgs, etc) that can help us; goals; and, I’m wondering if Library Freedom Project is interested in hosting its first Twitter chat to raise awareness?.. Is that a possibility?

@apuglisi great plans for powermapping ALA. Looking forward to your reportback.

The twitter chat idea is interesting. I don’t participate in those because I find them hard to follow. But it seems like people attend them? And if you think they’re a place where we can make some noise about this, then I’m all for it.

I created a page on the wiki for us to keep track of our action items: https://libraryfreedom.wiki/html/public_html/index.php/Main_Page/Facial_recognition_action

Hi @alison & all,

I think that a Twitter chat that has support from other entities would be helpful as a way of making noise; going alone might not be as effective. Since/if/as LFP is adopting this as a topic we care about and are highlighting as an advocacy issue, talking about from our own channels in addition to getting other organizations to adopt it seems like it could be helpful. Those of us who are able to move along other regional and/or national entities could help partner with LFP on this topic.

Rough social media chat layout:

Are we looking to inform & engage library professionals about the problems posed by it?
Share stories/examples about how this affects our communities?
Call to action: ask questions & provide ways that library profs can raise awareness

Once we have our a) objective worked out; b) who we want to engage and partner with; c) start pushing content/advocacy information from our platforms and engage our partners. We might need to do some of the initial pushing ourselves, but I do suspect that there are statewide and/or regional library organizations that would be delighted to co-host a Twitter chat and create buy in on this topic.

I’m going to talk to the Mayor of our town to see what it would take to get a town or county ordinance that bans the use of this tech. We used to be coworkers back when I worked for an airline here, so he should be pretty responsive to me. I’ll report back what he says.

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@apuglisi can you take the lead on drafting a plan for the twitter chat, and figure out what roles you’d need people to take (eg determining the objective, coming up with questions, moderating the chat). we have a decent amount of followers on @libraryfreedom and I can amplify it from my own account. anyone else interested in working on the twitter chat? Andrea don’t feel shy about pinging people who said they wanted to do facial recognition stuff and just asking them to do something. :slight_smile:

@wmarvell yesss this is very exciting! if you can, please use the language from Kade’s bill above to write some talking points. if this conversation goes well, the ACLU will want to be involved.

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Hi @alison – excited to have a weekend project! :sunglasses:

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lemme know if you need help!

@apuglisi @alison I will help with the twitter chat especially if I have a defined assignment! Also, happy to just participate in it.

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Hi, hi @Ajb! <3

Happy to hear it! :smile:

Step 1 includes working on knowing what we want to do: what is our objective, and, if you can help with creating a list/document of LFP participants who are looking to help and who/how they think they can help LFP partner with/cross promote through, that would be very helpful!

(ex: Is anyone in any ALA Sections? Regional groups? Do they know someone who can partner with?)


We can work with the IFC Privacy Subcommittee, I can bring it up to the committee if we have time at our meeting Sunday, I just need some working documents so I can bring competent information.

I’m also cool to push it within the NJ and MA library associations. I have some solid inroads there (maybe even NH).

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Hi @_TJ & @Ajb -

Okay, and thanks.

I plan on working on this tonight after work. Help with NJ will be esp helpful!; if you’re working with MLA, can you loop me in too? I’m the (newly appointed) PR Chair and in IFSRC & Tech sections & on NELA’s PR team. It’ll be helpful for me in my mission of spreading the word and quest of going library viral ! :wink:

Dear @alison @Maty_C @Ajb @_TJ @wmarvell:

As promised, I have begun structuring a Twitter chat & blasts. I have some questions about this, mostly is it possible that we use a tool to help facilitate and execute sustained blasts from LFI on this topic? Is this desired? I know of Hootsuite & Buffer obviously, but I am not sure if there is a better option? Or if this okay to use? Hootsuite and/or Buffer will be helpful ensuring that the questions are sent out on a timely way, and we will need a team of facilitators and participants. Our group that is monitoring as LFI should likely all be able to talk to each other (by phone at least?) so that way we don’t end up double replying, etc. I am happy to see that Ashley, Alison and TJ are willing to join in on the web team :slight_smile: Wren and/or Maty, do you want to get in on this too? :slight_smile:

Below is the layout/structure that I am imagining. We will need to come up with a chat Hashtag, possibly a resource guide to refer participants to and, possibly a contact us link. I am not sure of the questions to ask just yet; I am seeking your feedback and the greater input from LFI on this. I do think it’s smart if our questions can tag other larger entities (@ACLU or @ALALibrary) as a way of engaging them whether or not they are hosting the conversation.

I know I’ve been “I’m working on it!..” but haven’t shared much, and while it’s not totally done, there’s a lot here and I need help and recognize that I alone do not embody and/or represent all of LFI! :smiley:

Extra Help Needed

  1. Official branded LFI Images that have the Twitter Questions on them

  2. LFI Logo Included

  3. Twitter Chat hashtag (What is it?)

  4. Hosted by @libraryfreedom & any affiliates

  5. What is the general MovementHashtag that we are going to use? It might be different than the chat hashtag? (ex: #BanFacialRecognition?)

  6. Do we have a CTA (call to action): can we post a link that refers people to do something? We’ll reference this during the chat, pin it to the top of Twitter?

  7. Website page – should we make a resource guide that we share?: Steps you can take to get involved

  8. Call your senator! (provide link to website: contact info)

  9. Contact ALA (provide link to website: contact info)

  10. Other ideas?

  11. Provide an email template that people can copy/paste/modify and send

  12. Official image needed that contains #XX_HASHTAG_cause_XX @libraryfreedom on it

  13. Decide our official Twitter Chat hashtag for use? For the purpose of this post, I simply used "BANFACIALRECOGNITION so it sticks out, but the real one might be more clever and use a combo of capital and lowercase lettering to improve readability & to be screen reader friendly

  14. Twitter Chat Welcome: we reference a “Contact us”; destination, do we have one?

Twitter Chat Welcome (5 Tweets!)
Please note: welcome Tweets will be best if strung together.

Tweet 1: Thank you for joining our first #LibraryFreedom Twitter Chat! :fire: Facial recognition poses serious risks and harm to our communities; let’s talk about why and what we can do :fire:

Click the following to learn about steps you can take to advocate against Facial Recognition in libraries :point_right: LINK

Before we begin, we have a few quick and easy ground rules :point_down:


Tweet 2: Every (3) Minutes we will introduce a new question. Each question will use the following structure: Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.

Please share your replies using the hashtag #BANFACIALRECOGNITION using A1, A2, A3, etc.:point_down:

Tweet 3: We ask that participants remain respectful of each other and of differing views.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve our Twitter Chat experience, please contact us here :point_right: LINK

#BANFACIALRECOGNITION #LibrariesTransform #LibrariesAreForEveryone @anyCoFacilitators #StateSpecificHashtags

Tweet 4: If you are interested in being featured on and/or co-facilitating a #BANFACIALRECOGNITION chat, please contact us here :point_right: LINK

#BANFACIALRECOGNITION #LibrariesTransform #LibrariesAreForEveryone @anyCoFacilitators #StateSpecificHashtags

Tweet 5: – Start Twitter Chat –

Tweet Question formula
We will use the following Tweet structure and include all listed parts. It’s important that the text that is featured on the image is also broken out in text as part of the Tweet. Hashtags are key.

QX) TEXT of Question

Image of Question


Wrap Up Tweets (4 Tweets!)
Please note: Wrap Up Tweets will be best if strung together.

Tweet End 1/4: Thank you for joining our #BANFACIALRECOGNITON Chat! :fire: Click the following to learn about steps you can take to advocate against Facial Recognition in libraries :point_right: LINK

{include image with @LibraryFreedom on it}


Tweet End 2/4: Look for our next Twitter chat on xDATEx and xTimex. We will be discussing xTHEMEx. If you are interested in being featured on and/or co-facilitating a #LibraryFreedom chat, please contact us :point_right: LINK

{include image with @LibraryFreedom on it}


Tweet 3/4: If you have any feedback that you’d like to share with us to improve #LibraryFreedom chat in the future, please share your ideas here :point_right: LINK


{include image with @LibraryFreedom on it}

Tweet 4/4: Thank you once again for participating in our #BANFACIALRECOGNITION chat and to XXX for co-hosting!

Click the following to learn about steps you can take to advocate against Facial Recognition in libraries :point_right: LINK

{Thank you .gif!}


Twitter Chat Questions:
images have the question on them w/ q number, hashtag, etc

Q1: Did you know



Q2: Facial Recognition will result in increased surveillance, targeting vulnerable members of our communities and is a gross misuse of personal data. Our @ALALibrary Code of Ethics State…



























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@CarolynGlauda – can you help too!!!

@Maty_C @alison @_TJ @wmarvell @Ajb

I could try. This is an impressive thread! On Twitter I’m more of a follower of news and an occasional liker of tweets, but I want to try following conversations while I’m at ALA, so I could give this a go.

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Hi Andrea - I don’t have a twitter account but I’d be happy to help out with any of the marginal or offline stuff.

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