NY Civil Rights Advocates Again Facial Recognition Ban | New York Information

Amnesty International calls on New York City and state officials to ban law enforcement agencies from using facial recognition technology as it threatens the civil rights of “marginalized” communities.

The proposal was backed Tuesday by a coalition that included the New York Civil Liberties Union, Legal Aid Society and the city’s lawyer Jumaane Williams. New York would join Boston, San Francisco and other jurisdictions across the country if local lawmakers, according to its proponents, passed laws that put the ban.

“Face recognition can be armed by law enforcement agencies against marginalized communities around the world,” Amnesty International researcher Matt Mahmoudi said in a statement. “From New Delhi to New York, this invasive technology is turning against us and undermining human rights.”

The technology has raised concerns across the country as some fear it could be a dangerous step towards a surveillance state where people’s movements are tracked as soon as they leave their homes. Algorithms are used to automatically recognize human faces from surveillance cameras, social media and other sources to match them with mug shot photos in databases.

Activists have accused the New York City Police Department of using the technology to spy on Black Lives Matter protesters during massive demonstrations across the city last year over the police killing of George Floyd.

In March, the country’s largest law enforcement agency issued a guideline that it would never arrest anyone “solely on a face-recognition search”. The tool is only used to secure more traditional investigation techniques.

A message was left on the NYPD on Tuesday.

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