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US facial recognition, and battery ingredients

Just four years ago, the movement to ban police departments from using face recognition in the US was riding high. By the end of 2020, around 18 cities had enacted restrictive laws, and lawmakers proposed a pause on the federal government’s use of it.

In the years since, that effort has slowed to a halt. Some local bans have even been partially repealed, and today, few seriously believe that a federal ban could pass in the foreseeable future. Right now in the US, facial recognition regulations are trapped in political gridlock.

However, in Massachusetts there is hope for those who want to restrict police access to face recognition, thanks to a bipartisan state bill being thrashed out by its lawmakers which would do exactly that.

A lot rides on whether this law gets passed. It could usher in a new age of compromise, and could set the standard for how face recognition is regulated elsewhere. On the other hand, if a vote is delayed or fails, it would be yet another sign that the movement is waning. Read the full story.

—Tate Ryan-Mosley

Want to know where batteries are going? Look at their ingredients. 

Batteries are going to be a key part of how we tackle climate change. They’ll transform transportation and could also be crucial for storing renewables like wind or solar power for times when those resources aren’t available.

So in a way, they’re a central technology for the two sectors responsible for the biggest share of emissions: energy and transportation.

The International Energy Agency has just released a new report on the state of critical minerals in energy, which has some interesting battery-related tidbits. If you want to understand what’s next for batteries, you need to look at what’s happening right now in their materials. Read the full story.

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