FB pixel

Pair of US politicians want face biometrics ripped out of public housing

Pair of US politicians want face biometrics ripped out of public housing

Public housing officials around the world using biometric surveillance is largely the same as police using it except in one respect – the people being surveilled in public housing are virtually all poor.

That makes any use of facial recognition in subsidized housing unacceptable, if not always by residents themselves then by advocates of the underprivileged.

A pair of United States Representatives, Maxine Waters from California and Ayanna Pressley from the state of Massachusetts, have issued a statement saying biometric surveillance does not increase “stability and fairness” in public housing.

They sent the statement to Marcia Fudge, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, asking her to prohibit facial recognition in public housing. Their idea is a recurrent one in Washington.

Pressley in 2021 joined with Representatives Yvette Clarke of New York and Rashid Tlaib of Michigan, all Democrats, in sponsoring a bill to stop biometric surveillance in government housing.

The bill failed, but research published in a 2022 paper by Peter Dauvergne of the University of British Columbia says that support for national restrictions on the software is rising among conservatives and liberals.

Last month, The Washington Post ran an article on AI algorithms in public housing, reporting on concerns that advocates of residents and privacy have a raised.

The practice creates an oppressive feeling of being suspected of a crime, they say. It can be used punitively for minor infractions. The software is least accurate with people of color, particularly women of color, and mistakes put innocent people on the streets.

As it happens, Housing and Human Development officials in April sent a notice to the agency director and field office directors saying that Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security Grants expressly cannot be used to pay for facial recognition systems.

It is unclear if that prohibition, which, according to reporting by the Post, has been violated in multiple instances, can prohibit spending on facial recognition across the department.

Related Posts

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Research

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events

Explaining Biometrics