New York City eyes guideline of facial acknowledgment ... thumbnail

New York City eyes guideline of facial acknowledgment …

By Blair Morris

November 17, 2019

NEW YORK– Legislation that would begin to regulate making use of facial recognition technology in the nation’s most populated city could soon be made into law.

While cities around the nation relocation to ban facial recognition and other kinds of biometric surveillance outright, the City board here is taking a piecemeal technique, considering costs that would need companies and landlords to disclose their use of the technology.

Meanwhile, personal privacy supporters are promoting oversight of how facial surveillance is utilized by the city’s authorities department, which has actually been resistant to more openness regardless of discoveries that it keeps a facial database that consists of countless children, some as young as 11.

The circumstance in New york city mirrors the nationwide dispute over technology that advocates say is a crucial crime-fighting tool but that critics have dubbed Orwellian by its very nature. Caught in the middle are city governments, which should exercise whether to prohibit the tools completely, as San Francisco has actually done, or take a more restrained method.

” I would warn lawmakers to tread carefully rather than going too far,” City Councilman Ritchie Torres, who has introduced a costs that would require company owner to inform consumers if facial acknowledgment tools remain in usage, told CQ Roll Call. “There are legitimate concerns however we must not allow those issues to end up being an enormous failure of legislative overreaction.”

Torres, a Democrat who represents parts of the Bronx and is running for the congressional seat currently held by the retiring Rep. Jose E. Serrano, says “it might be the case that facial acknowledgment innovation has real utility,” but not without requirements for privacy and openness.

To that end, Torres’ bill would need services utilizing facial recognition to make clear how long they are storing the information they gather and whether it’s being sold to any third celebrations.

A 2nd expense under factor to consider by the council would require property owners to register use of facial acknowledgment and other biometric security tools with the city, and require the city to maintain a database of all the buildings using it– something it currently does not have.

” A lot of these biometric security systems can be contributed to the back end of existing camera systems, making it difficult for a customer, a renter or a passerby to know that their biometric information is being recorded without some sort of disclosure,” says Albert Fox Cahn, who runs the Security Technology Oversight Task at the Urban Justice Center, which battles for personal privacy rights in New York.

The council’s approach higher guideline is encouraging, Cahn says, due to the fact that “the sad reality is that New york city City’s leaders have actually been exceptionally slow to recognize the basic hazard presented by biometric monitoring,” specifically to people of color. Cahn remains most concerned about use of the innovation by the New York Cops Department. Legislation introduced in 2017 that would require police to reveal details about its usage of security tools and privacy policies has stalled, partially since of confusion surrounding the department’s charter and whether the city board can legally need police to be transparent about their practices.

Torres, who supports that expense however acknowledges it faces “a more complex course” than his legislation, believes it’s “reasonable game” for the council to require disclosures about facial acknowledgment innovation from the NYPD that would not always govern how the department uses it.

” We have a right to understand the nature and extent of the NYPD’s surveillance of the public,” he says.

For its part, the NYPD has actually pushed back on efforts to oversee its surveillance programs, arguing the legislation would serve to assist criminals and terrorists. The department’s database only includes arrest photos, according to a June op-ed in The New York Times by James O’Neill, the cops commissioner, and caused 998 arrests in 1,851 cases in 2018.

” It would be an injustice to individuals we serve if we policed our 21 st century city without utilizing 21 st century technology,” O’Neill composed.

Landlords and structure owners mindful The bills requiring disclosure by service owners and proprietors are experiencing resistance, too. The administration of Mayor Bill De Blasio, a Democrat, has not committed to supporting either piece of legislation and the city’s property lobby is opposing the property measure.

” While particular disclosures … may be warranted, it is essential to stabilize that concern with the legitimate security benefits supplied by these systems,” the Property Board of New york city City said in a declaration. “As drafted, the proposed legislation asks both business and property buildings to reveal and advertise potentially sensitive security information that might put renters’ security at threat.”

The board included that consisting of such information in a single database would make it “a virtual honeypot for hackers and other crooks, potentially putting the property and tenant security at danger.”

The usage of facial recognition innovation in New York City has already led to activity on Capitol Hill.

Amid occupant issues over the installation of facial recognition systems at an apartment building in Brooklyn, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, a Democrat who represents that borough, in August introduced legislation (HR 4008) to ban facial recognition technology in public housing and assisted housing units funded by the federal government.

The costs is co-sponsored by Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley, the Massachusetts Democrat whose district consists of Cambridge, among several cities to prohibit facial acknowledgment in the in 2015.

In basic, biometric security has actually produced concern from both celebrations in Congress.

At a June hearing of your house Oversight and Reform Committee, Democrats and Republicans voiced support for a moratorium on awarding federal grant dollars that might be invested in facial recognition tools.

The status of prospective legislation achieving that is uncertain, nevertheless, due to the fact that of the death last week of Democratic Oversight Chairman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, who had actually been championing the idea.


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About Blair Morris