Internet Freedom Advocate Raises Alarm Over Facial Recognition

“The efforts reflect the larger, increasingly contentious debate around facial recognition technology, which largely revolves around the axes of privacy advocates’ fears of Big Brother-style surveillance, and police organizations’ insistence that it offers a useful security and policing tool.”

Internet Freedom Advocate Raises Alarm Over Facial Recognition

Fight for the Future, a non-profit advocacy group aimed at promoting a free internet, is now setting its sights on combating the public use of facial recognition technology.

The organization is fighting on a couple of fronts this week. One concerns Ticketmaster, whose parent company, Live Nation, has been investing in the development of facial recognition for use in scanning attendees of live events. The aim is to replace physical tickets with more convenient and secure face scans, but it has run afoul of some privacy advocates, with Fight for the Future teaming up with prominent artists including Speedy Ortiz and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello to call for a ban on the use of this technology.

“Facial recognition surveillance is uniquely dangerous,” asserted Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer in a statement. “It doesn’t keep fans or artists safe, it just subjects them to invasive, racially biased monitoring that will inevitably lead to fans getting harassed, falsely arrested, deported, or worse.”

Fight for the Future also took the opportunity this week to comment on the newly-released criminal justice platform of Kamala Harris, the candidate for the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential race. In a new post on its website, the advocacy group noted that fellow candidate Bernie Sanders has called for an outright ban of facial recognition technology, whereas Senator Harris “repeats talking points that have been pushed by law enforcement agencies and Big Tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon” in merely calling for regulations on how facial recognition can be used.

The efforts reflect the larger, increasingly contentious debate around facial recognition technology, which largely revolves around the axes of privacy advocates’ fears of Big Brother-style surveillance, and police organizations’ insistence that it offers a useful security and policing tool. And while the debate has been heated, signs have started to emerge that suggest the potential for compromise somewhere in the middle.

Sources: Motherboard, Fight for the Future

September 10, 2019 – by Alex Perala