EFF says Chicago should reject private face tech
10 October 2018 14:42 GMT

Privacy advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has said a proposed amendment to the Chicago municipal code would allow businesses to use face surveillance systems that could invade biometric and location privacy, and violate a pioneering state privacy law adopted by Illinois a decade ago.

EFF joined a letter with several allied privacy organizations explaining its concerns, which include issues with both the proposed law and the invasive technology it would irresponsibly expand.

"At its core, facial recognition technology is an extraordinary menace to our digital liberties, " wrote EFF."Unchecked, the expanding proliferation of surveillance cameras, coupled with constant improvements in facial recognition technology, can create a surveillance infrastructure that the government and big companies can use to track everywhere we go in public places, including who we are with and what we are doing".

This group said the system will deter law-abiding people from exercising their First Amendment rights in public places.

"Given continued inaccuracies in facial recognition systems, many people will be falsely identified as dangerous or wanted on warrants, which will subject them to unwanted—and often dangerous—interactions with law enforcement. This system will disparately burden people of color, who suffer a higher “false positive” rate due to additional flaws in these emerging systems". 

"In short, police should not be using facial recognition technology at all. Nor should businesses that wire their surveillance cameras into police spying networks".