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New York to release records of facial recognition use

The New York Supreme Court has ordered the police department to release records of law enforcement using facial recognition technology against Black Lives Matter protesters. Writes about it Amnesty International.

According to the court order, the police must provide 2,700 documents and emails between March 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020 related to the acquisition and use of surveillance systems.

According to human rights activists, this will allow a thorough investigation of the purchase and use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement officers throughout New York.

“It was wrong for the NYPD to watch the BLM protesters, and it was wrong for the NYPD to cover up the evidence,” said STOP chief executive Albert Fox Kahn.

According to him, hiding the records is a violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Kan hopes that the police will quickly enforce the court order.

“These recordings can help us prevent new abuses in the future,” the human rights activist said.

Amnesty International and STOP have previously requested NYPD records under the Freedom of Information Act related to the use of facial recognition tools and surveillance of activists.

The cops turned down the request. They argued that the request covers more than 30 million documents, and that their implementation would be “unreasonably burdensome.”

Human rights activists went to court demanding to oblige the police to disclose the tapes. Since the lawsuit was filed, the number of requested documents has decreased to 2,700.

Recall that in February, activists discovered 25,000 surveillance cameras with face recognition in New York.

In June 2021, Amnesty International counted over 15,000 tracking devices in three districts of the metropolitan area.

In January, human rights activists demanded an end to the use of facial recognition in public places. Amnesty International believes that the biometric identification of people using street surveillance cameras is a gross interference with the privacy of citizens.

At the same time, the organization launched the global campaign Ban the Scan, with which it seeks to ban facial recognition technologies worldwide.

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