Georgetown researchers are warning Americans about a sophisticated real-time face surveillance system that’s about to become an “imminent reality” for millions of citizens across the country.
The ‘America Under Watch’ report is a warning that authorities in select US cities may soon be able to pick you out from a crowd, identify you, and trace your movements via a secret network of cameras constantly capturing images of your face.
The report claims both Detroit and Chicago purchased software from a South Carolina company, DataWorks Plus, that gives police the ability to scan live video from cameras located at businesses, health clinics, schools, and apartment buildings. Both cities say they are not currently using the technology.
Facial recognition software has proven problematic for violating ppl’s civil liberties and discriminating against Black people and (to a lesser extent), other POC. Seems like a waste of an investment given the composition of the city of #Detroit.
— Educate to Liberate LLC (@NefertariNkenge) May 15, 2019
I think it's helpful to treat privacy like a form of environmental health. Violations of privacy are sometimes individual, and always collective.
— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) May 17, 2019
DataWorks says it provides software which “provides continuous screening and monitoring of live video streams.” The system is also designed to operate on “not less than 100 concurrent video feeds.”
According to the research team’s report, live footage is captured by cameras installed around Detroit as part of Project Green Light, a public-private initiative to deter crime which launched in 2016. The expanse of the police department’s facial recognition policy last summer, however, means the face recognition technology can now be connected to any live video, including security cameras, drone footage, and body-worn cams.'
Read more: You’ve been warned: Widespread US face surveillance is ‘imminent reality’, says tech privacy report