June 23, 2021


equality opinion

Civil Legal rights Groups, Lawmakers Call On New York To ‘Ban The Scan’, Outlaw Facial Recognition

On Tuesday, Amnesty Worldwide, the Surveillance Technological innovation Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.), New York Metropolis Community Advocate Jumaane Williams, New York Condition Senator Brad Hoylman, Legal Help Society, Countrywide Action Network, Warriors In The Back garden, Immigrant Defense Job, New York Civil Liberties Union, the Digital Frontier Foundation and other advocates held an on the net press meeting calling on New York Metropolis and New York Condition to “Ban The Scan” and outlaw federal government use of facial recognition.

Advocates say that facial recognition is an immediate menace to New Yorkers’ basic safety and civil rights, particularly BIPOC communities. New York would be a part of a expanding range of metropolitan areas and states that have outlawed facial recognition, such as Boston, San Francisco, Portland, and Vermont.

“Facial recognition hazards becoming weaponized by legislation enforcement versus marginalized communities about the globe. From New Delhi to New York, this invasive engineering turns our identities in opposition to us and undermines human legal rights,” said Amnesty Worldwide AI and Human Rights Researcher Matt Mahmoudi. “New Yorkers must be able to go out about their day-to-day lives without the need of getting tracked by facial recognition. Other main metropolitan areas throughout the US have already banned facial recognition, and New York must do the very same.”

“For decades, the NYPD has used facial recognition to observe tens of hundreds of New Yorkers, putting New Yorkers of coloration at hazard of false arrest and law enforcement violence.,” stated Surveillance Engineering Oversight Undertaking Govt Director Albert Fox Cahn. “Banning facial recognition won’t just guard civil rights: it’s a make a difference of everyday living and loss of life. Just about every time it wrongfully accuses an innocent particular person, facial recognition places them in law enforcement crosshairs. As the killing of Eric Garner and so quite a few some others has proven, every single police come upon can be deadly, particularly for Black New Yorkers. Alarmingly, the NYPD has utilized this exact technology to spy on BLM protesters, tracking dissent in its place of criminal offense.”

Advocates are contacting on New York Condition to enact Senate Bill S79, which would ban regulation enforcement use of biometric surveillance technologies, including facial recognition. The teams also termed on New York Town to pass a detailed ban on all use of facial recognition by town organizations. Irrespective of in depth force, the New York Town Council has not nevertheless released this kind of a monthly bill.

“Facial recognition is a biased and ineffective technology that puts New Yorkers at hazard of harassment from law enforcement and prosecutors,” explained New York Condition Senator Brad Hoylman. “That’s why I’ve released legislation (S.79) with Assemblymember Deborah Glick to instantly halt the use of facial recognition and other biometric surveillance technologies by regulation enforcement. Thank you to Community Advocate Jumaane Williams, my constituent Derrick Ingram, S.T.O.P. Amnesty International, Legal Support Society, National Motion Community, Immigrant Defense Task, Digital Frontier Foundation and NYCLU for supporting our laws and for your do the job battling again from this harmful menace to our privacy and civil liberties.”

“Facial recognition is just the newest edition of bias-centered policing, a digital stop and frisk,” mentioned New York Metropolis Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. “This technological innovation is a device of oppression. It is biased, flawed, and its implementation will conform to the systemic biases we have extended found — a federal review showed that there were involving 10 and 100 times more wrong matches amid Black gals than white gentlemen. We require metropolis and point out action to ban the scan and choose on this facial recognition, which has the capability to be not a resource of general public basic safety, but a threat to it.”

“Face surveillance presents an unparalleled risk to everyone’s privacy and civil liberties, enabling the invasive electricity to track who we are, where by we go, and who we meet,” reported NYCLU Privateness and Technological innovation Strategist Daniel Schwarz. “The technological innovation is notoriously racially biased – specifically inaccurate for ladies and people today of color – and about the past ten years has been used in flawed, unscientific manners by the NYPD. We need to ban face surveillance by governing administration, in individual by law enforcement, and in other locations wherever our fundamental legal rights are at stake.”

“Over the past pair of many years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (much better known as ICE) has invested appreciably in growing its capability to surveil, arrest and deport people today,” said Immigrant Protection Job Senior Plan Affiliate Jose Chapa. “This has provided sharing information and facts and engineering with police—including biometrics this kind of as fingerprints, and most likely facial recognition facts. It is widely recognized that surveillance in the United States has increased to problematic degrees that infringe on privateness, civil and human legal rights. New York Metropolis and Point out have an option to curtail this infringement. That is why we are demanding that our elected officers ban facial recognition know-how, especially as we go forward into uncharted technological territory.”

“Facial recognition is an invasive and flawed technological innovation that has already led to untrue arrests,” claimed Supervising Attorney of the Electronic Forensics Device at the Authorized Support Culture Jerome D. Greco. “The penalties of its misuse disproportionally impacts individuals of coloration, women of all ages, younger people today, transgender folks, and gender nonconforming men and women. We can not allow legislation enforcement to hide powering technological know-how to justify and perpetuate the biases and injustices previously current in the prison authorized procedure. New York have to ban the use of facial recognition by government businesses, just as other jurisdictions have presently carried out.”

The speakers also questioned the public to right take action. The Ban the Scan web page consists of a petition supporting facial recognition legislation and a public remark portal for the NYPD. The remark portal can make use of the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technologies (Article) Act, a a short while ago enacted New York Metropolis transparency legislation. Underneath the Publish Act, the NYPD need to review general public comments on surveillance technological innovation, including facial recognition, until finally February 25th, 2021.

Media get hold of: Mariya Parodi, senior push officer, Amnesty International Usa, [email protected]

S.T.O.P. govt director, Albert Fox Cahn [email protected].