York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed on Friday that facial
recognition cameras installed at bridge and tunnel toll plazas
across New York City are scanning
every driver's face and feeding them into a massive database
designed to catch suspected criminals.
it reads that license plate, it reads it for scofflaws . . . [but]
the toll is almost the least significant contribution that this
electronic equipment can actually perform,” Cuomo said at a press
conference outside the Queens Midtown Tunnel.
are now moving to facial-recognition technology, which
takes it to a whole new level, where it
can see the face of the person in the car and run that
technology against databases... Because many times
a person will turn their head when they see a security camera, so they
are now experimenting with technology that just identifies a
person by their ear, believe it or not,” he continued.
technology is currently in use at
the RFK/Triborough Bridge, and was switched on at
the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn-Battery tunnels on Friday,
according to the Governor's office.
will also eventually come to at least two of the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority’s six other spans — the Throgs Neck and
Whitestone bridges — and down the road will be added at all area
airports, Cuomo’s office confirmed.
request for proposals from contractors previously published by
the online news outlet Vocativ says the tech is slated for all
seven of the city’s toll bridges in addition to the two tunnels.
Governor's office wouldn't say when forthcoming cameras will be
activated, which databases will be used to compare photos,
will have access to the data, however Cuomo said that
license plates which are already scanned at the plazas are
currently checked "for warrants, suspected felons, parole
violators, terrorist suspects."
data is then fed to NYPD cars stationed at crossings within
a phenomenal security device,” he said.
group steps in
everyone is a fan of the Orwellian system - most notably New York
Civil Liberties Union, which criticized the new system as
unreliable and full of potential abuse after the governor's press
software is notoriously inaccurate when it comes to identifying
people of color, women and children, leading to the possibility of
people being mistakenly arrested or erroneously monitored,” said
NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.
should not be casting a dragnet to track everyone going about
their day through the state’s bridges and tunnels, especially not
when that data could be shared with other law-enforcement
agencies, including immigration authorities.”
York's DMV already uses facial-recognition software to catch
criminals committing fraud and identity theft, and has some 16
million photos in its databases according to a 2017 Governor's
we becoming China?
reported on China's "SkyNet" (actual name)
facial recognition system, which "is
able to identify 40 facial features, regardless of
angles and lighting, at an accuracy rate of 99.8 percent,"
Daily. "It can also scan faces and compare them with
its database of criminal suspects at large at
a speed of 3 billion times a second, indicating
Chinese people can be compared in the system within only one
claims that over 2,000 criminals at large have been apprehended by
public security cameras using the system - touting
the June 2017 rescue of a 6-year-old girl who was
reported missing in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region based
on a photo that was several years old.
January, Bloomberg reported that Beijing was using facial
recognition to surveil Muslim-dominated villages on China's
western frontier, which alerts authorities when targeted
individuals are more than 1,000 feet beyond designated "safe"
areas comprise individuals’ homes and workplaces, said the
person, who requested anonymity to speak to the media without
system like this is obviously well-suited to controlling
people,” said Jim Harper, executive vice president of
the libertarian-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute and a
founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s
Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. “‘Papers,
please’ was the symbol of living under tyranny in the past.
Now, government officials don’t need to ask.” -Bloomberg
more, "SkyNet" is a perfect way
to enforce China's new "Social
Credit Score" system set to launch in 2020, which
allows citizens rights based on observed behavior.
a world where many of your daily activities were constantly
monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online;
where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how
you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching
content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay
(or not). It's not hard to picture, because most of that already
happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like
Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as
now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as
either positive or negative and distilled into a single
number, according to rules set by the government. That would
create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether
or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating
would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population
and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job,
where your children can go to school - or even just your chances
of getting a date.
February 2017, the country's Supreme People's Court announced
that 6.15 million of its citizens had been banned from taking
flights over the past four years for social misdeeds. -Wired
as the Washington
Post noted in January, the Chinese city of
Chongqing has engaged in a pilot project called "sharp eyes," which
connects various cameras throughout the region in order to fight
intent is to connect the security cameras that already scan
roads, shopping malls and transport hubs with private cameras on
compounds and buildings, and integrate them into one nationwide
surveillance and data-sharing platform.
will use facial recognition and artificial intelligence to
analyze and understand the mountain of incoming video
evidence; to track suspects, spot suspicious behaviors and
even predict crime; to coordinate the work of emergency
services; and to monitor the comings and goings of the
country’s 1.4 billion people, official documents and security
industry reports show. -WaPo
China could have named their new facial recognition system after
something other than the dystopian AI-controlled national defense
system that led to the end of civilization in the Terminator series. Then
again, maybe that's the point.