RD53 - HB 454 - Facial Recognition Technology by Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies

Executive Summary:
During the 2002 Session of the Virginia General Assembly, Delegate H. Morgan Griffith introduced House Bill 454 (HB 454) (*1), which would have added a chapter to the Code of Virginia governing the applications for, and limiting the use of, facial recognition technology by Virginia law enforcement agencies. This bill was communicated to the Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. The Committee continued the bill until 2003 and referred it by letter to the Virginia State Crime Commission for further study. As a result of this study effort, the following recommendation was made concerning HB 454.


The Crime Commission recommends an alternative approach for governing the use of facial recognition technology by Virginia law enforcement agencies. Rather than create an application process wherein a Circuit Court must be petitioned and then issues an Order of finite duration whenever a law enforcement agency wishes to make use of such technology, the Code of Virginia can be modified to limit the types of information which law enforcement agencies may gather through this technology. Additional limitations can be placed on law enforcement agencies concerning the use and distribution of such information, and provisions can be made for the expungement of data which is obsolete, unreliable, or misleading. To ensure compliance with these requirements, the Department of Criminal Justice Services can be assigned the task of monitoring and periodically auditing the data gathered by law enforcement through facial recognition technology.
(*1) After House Bill 454 (2002) was introduced, a substantially similar version of the same bill was substituted in the House. This substitute bill, with its one amendment, hereinafter shall be referred to as HB 454. See Attachment 1.