Amnesty International calls for ban on facial recognition in New York

Human rights organisation Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling for a ban on the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) by government agencies in New York City and across the state. The organisation is inviting citizens to sign a petition calling on the New York State Legislature and the New York City Council to ban government use of FRT, including by the police. The petition is also supported by other organisations such as Electronic Frontier Foundation and the New York Civil Liberties Union. In addition, residents of the New York City are invited to submit comments to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to oppose the department’s policy on the use of FRT. The NYPD published its policy on 11 January, inviting public comment until 25 February (in line with a law passed by city council in 2020). In support of its campaign, Amnesty International underlines that FRT poses threats to human rights (e.g. privacy, the right to assembly, and freedom of expression) and it can amplify racially discriminatory policing.