A complete ban on real-time facial recognition?

In the London Review of Books, John Lanchester reviews The Great Firewall of China: How to Build and Control an Alternative Version of the Internet by James Griffiths and We Have Been Harmonised: Life in China’s Surveillance State by Kai Strittmatter.

Towards the end of his enlightening piece, Lanchester suggests these measures:

We should take China’s example seriously, and learn from it, and begin with a complete ban on real-time facial recognition. We should retain that ban unless and until we understand the technology and have worked out a guaranteed way of preventing its misuses.

My libertarian instincts make me suspicious and skeptical of bans except those placed upon the government itself as limits on state power. Granted, keeping face recognition legal would normalize the practice, so people would start adapting instead of resisting. On the other hand, banning it would disincentivize developers of defensive anti-surveillance technologies.

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