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City of Boise Steps Away from Facial Recognition Software Contract

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The City of Boise will not sign a controversial contract that would install facial recognition software at some city facilities.

Earlier this summer, The Idaho Press reported that the city was mulling a contract with Meridian-based CompuNet to install facial recognition software in security cameras at Boise City Hall and City Hall West, which would identify people who were not allowed to enter those buildings by legal order.

"We recognized that it's important for our employees to feel safe at their jobs, and given the high-profile nature of City Hall and some of the decisions that are made here, we felt it was important to invest in their safety and security going forward and this is part of that effort," city spokesman Mike Journee told The Press in June.

In a news release issued July 26, the city backed away from that plan, citing problems other cities have experienced with the software. As an alternative, the city is eyeing a phone application that can immediately alert security in the event of a threat.

The contract for facial recognition software was never signed, and no city money was spent on it, according to the release.

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