EPIC to NYC Council: Take Action on Facial Recognition Now

February 24, 2023

Jeramie D. Scott, Director of EPIC’s Project on Surveillance Oversight, testified today before the New York City Council’s Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection. The Committee held an oversight hearing on “The Use of Facial Recognition Technology in New York City’s Businesses.” In oral testimony before the Committee, Mr. Scott noted how “facial recognition destroys anonymity and removes control of identity from the individual” and “that allowing businesses to freely implement facial recognition technology will create the infrastructure for mass face surveillance that will undoubtedly lead to mission creep.” Mr. Scott urged the counsel to ban the use of facial recognition in places of public accommodation or, at minimal, pass a law similar to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The hearing comes after facial recognition was used to deny entry into Radio City Music Hall to a mother chaperoning her daughter’s Girl Scout troop because she works for a law firm that has litigation against MSG Entertainment Corp., the owner of the venue. A video recording of the hearing is available on the NYC Council website.

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