Protect Marginalized Communities From High Tech Police Surveillance

Target: US Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer

Goal: Create federal laws regulating the use of facial recognition software in policing practices.

The use of facial recognition software is on the rise globally, increasingly in policing practices. Currently there is little regulation in the United States dictating how such technology can be used. This poses another significant threat to the Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and immigrant community members across the US. In recent years, there have been at least three cases of innocent individuals arrested because of an incorrect facial match. All three have been Black men.

Currently, facial recognition software is used by law enforcement officials at both the local and federal levels, including significant use by federal immigration enforcement. In 2021 the Government Accountability Office found that almost half of all federal agencies with law enforcement officers used the software. At the state and local level, a 2016 Georgetown Law study found that one out of every four law enforcement agencies could access and use this tech. Customs and Border Protection added the software to 182 additional airports in 2021, bringing the number of inbound flights monitored with the software to 99%, according to Wired.

Recent studies conducted by MIT and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both found that facial recognition software is often wildly inaccurate when examining images of individuals with darker skin, most prominently when examining images of BIPOC women. NIST found that many US developed algorithms used in facial recognition technology is “significantly more likely to return false positives or negatives for Black, Asian, and Native American individuals compared to white individuals,” as reported by Brookings.

The use of these technologies will likely worsen the already highly documented racialized policing practices in the United States. While there are instances of cities banning the use of facial recognition software, there is no standardized and wide-sweeping regulation in place at either the state or federal levels.

Sign below and demand that urgent action be taken to protect BIPOC against facial recognition technology.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Schumer,

The use of facial recognition software is on the rise in the United States, and yet there are no federal laws or regulations guiding its use and ensuring it will not cause more harm to marginalized communities. There have been at least three cases of innocent Black men being arrested based off of faulty facial matches and multiple studies have found that BIPOC community members are “significantly” more likely to be falsely identified by current software.

We need to protect our civil rights and do whatever we can to lessen the harmful impact of racialized policing practices against marginalized communities. The use of these technologies will likely worsen the already highly documented racialized policing practices in the United States. You must act urgently to introduce and pass legislation regulating the use of facial recognition technology.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Eliza Galstyan


2 Comments

  1. Lie detectors don’t always work either. And what about identical twins? Something tells me that there are too many problems associated with this tech.

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