" Facial recognition should never be used as a public security tool. What facial recognition excels at is allowing authorities to track not just individuals, but groups, and group movements. Facial recognition tech has been banned for government use by San Francisco and Oakland in California, and Somerville, Massachusetts. And now, with the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act, it may be banned for any housing project in the US that receives government funding.
While the Fed can ban the software for public housing where they control the purse strings, facial recognition tech will still be a problem for tenants who are not part of the public housing system. There are no restrictions on landlords to not make use of the software, and certainly, many of them see it as a useful security tool. It goes along with the suite of smart home tech that many landlords install. These include smart locks and surveillance, as well as facial recognition. In a Brooklyn building, tenants had to take landlords to court just to be issued proper keys.
If this software had been implemented in say the deep south during the Civil Rights Era, when African American men and women were engaged in secret meetings to organize against Jim Crow laws, segregation, and discrimination, these brave people may have felt unable to contribute in fear of their own safety. And given that their safety was already in danger, imagine how much worse it would have been if authoritarian, segregationist whites could have actually tracked them. What a nightmare."
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