NEW YORK (PIX11)– There are thousands of cameras scattered around New York City monitoring New Yorkers. Some even have facial recognition and collect your biometrics.
Retailers like Amazon use it to see what you’re buying, and law enforcement agencies use the technology to catch criminals or find missing people.
On Wednesday, a discussion of the pros and cons of this technology took place at the City Hall. Two new pieces of legislation would ban facial recognition and biometric technology at public venues and residential buildings.
“They [cameras] disproportionally impact people who are BIPOC, working class, and whistleblowers, so we must speak up against these attacks on everyday people,” said Council Member Shana Hanif, of District 39 in Brooklyn.
“We see more landlords implementing tech solutions to security for residents, but facial recognition and biometric systems open the door for discrimination and harassment,” said Carlina Rivera, another council member spearheading facial recognition software.
Some New York City venues, including those owned by Madison Square Garden Entertainment, recently came under fire for using facial recognition software to ban people from entering events because they had pending litigation against the company.
Businesses are required by law to post signs letting people know the technology is being used. The NYPD, which uses the software, stated the technology is handy for getting criminals off the street.
“People think you capture it, and you lock them up. There are a lot of moving parts,” said Michael Alcazar, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor. “Arrest warrants from facial recognition software would need a victim or witness to identify that person. “