‘Ban the Scan’ - Groups call for city, state to outlaw facial recognition
Nearly a dozen leaders and groups came together Tuesday to call on the city and state to ban government use of facial recognition technology scanning, saying that it negatively impacts people of color.
Albert Cahn, of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), says facial recognition has been “proven by leading scientists, by the federal government, by the vendors themselves to be biased against people of color, particularly against black women."
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams shared a study that supported this claim, one which discovered that most algorithms found between 10 and 100 times more false matches for Black women then white men.
“That's why we need to ban the scanner. It can be compared and called the digital stop and frisk," said Williams.
STOP is partnering with Amnesty International for a campaign to raise awareness about the issue that could have fatal consequences if used incorrectly.
"It means a SWAT team showing up to the wrong apartment, it means the wrong driver being pulled over, it could even mean a chokehold or a knee to the neck," says Cahn.
The NYPD has outlined their use of facial recognition in their department. It says they don't make arrests on facial recognition alone and have investigators verify matches and additional evidence before an arrest is made.
Those supporting the ban want the community to sign a petition asking lawmakers to pass legislation.
News 12 has reached out to the mayor’s office and the governor’s office for a comment.