Ohio-AGBy Chrissie Thompson, Cincinnati Enquirer

Attorney General Mike DeWine’s panel to review security protocols for Ohio’s facial recognition system will start meeting Sept. 10 — and two civil-rights groups are not on it.

The nine-member group includes former and current judges, a prosecutor, a sheriff, a police chief and a coroner, but DeWine did not grant the requests of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Council on American Islamic-Relations’ Ohio chapter to join the commission.

“This is a respected group of criminal justice professionals,” DeWine said Thursday in a statement. “They are real pros.”

The advisory group will have the next two months to review the security policies in place for the law enforcement database that includes the state’s new facial recognition software. An Enquirer investigation found DeWine’s office had launched the new system in June without informing the public and without first reviewing security rules for the database.

The new software is designed to identify crime suspects by analyzing a snapshot or, in some cases, a security camera image, and matching it with an Ohio driver’s license photo or police mug shot.

The ACLU’s request to join the committee said it was “in the unique position of understanding the complexities of privacy law and the importance of protecting individual liberty.”

State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley, who chairs the Ohio Senate’s public safety committee, had said he thought the group should be included as long as it was seeking to be constructive in helping the committee’s work.

CAIR Ohio’s letter, dated Thursday, said the facial recognition software impacts Muslim religious communities in Ohio, especially people who wear religious head coverings.

“We have already received calls and concerns about how this policy is impacting our constituents when they are getting their image taken at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles,” the letter said. (Read the full article)

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