San Francisco became the first city in the United States to approve a ban on the use of facial recognition technology by authorities, following a decision by the city's Board of Supervisors.

The city supervisors voted in favour of the motion brought forward by supervisor Aaron Peskin and other civil liberties groups in the country, who believe the technology will hinder on privacy and hurt minorities.

The technology is used by police and other agencies to locate suspects in big crowds, as well as malls and other shopping outlets, and to to ascertain shoppers' emotions while perusing the stores.

"your face is your face, you can't hide it, you can't do anything with it but be yourself. That face could link up to your bank account, it could link up to mugshots, it could link up to political activity", stressed Tim Kingston, an investigator in the San Francisco Public Defender's Office.

The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance passed by a vote of eight to one, with only Supervisor Catherine Stefani dissenting.

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