Home > Uncategorized > College Students to Legislators: Ban Facial Recognition Software NOW

College Students to Legislators: Ban Facial Recognition Software NOW

March 3, 2020


The Guardian published an account yesterday of a series of live and online protests that occurred across the country seeking an end to the use of facial recognition software by colleges and universities. Why? Because the false positives (i.e. students mid-identified as criminals) tend to be students of color. And– worse yet– immigrants are fearful that their misidentification could result in lengthy wrangles with ICE whose data bases are notoriously inaccurate.

I am grateful that some group is organizing this kind of mass action because the use of this technology is increasingly widespread and the general public is not aware that they are being surveilled. The article concludes with this quote from one of the students who organized the protests:

“In the end, it shouldn’t be up to some campus safety officer or even a college president or administrator to make decisions like this without having all the facts or knowing all the potential risks of implementing such a system,” she said. “This underscores the broad need for lawmakers to get off their asses, and do their jobs, and pass legislation to ban the use of this technology.”

If the Democrats want an issue to rally around and to differentiate themselves from the GOP— this is it. 24/7 Surveillance in the name of safety is the road to totalitarian government. Period.

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