If the NBA really cares about player and fan safety and racial justice, it is time that they ban facial recognition from their events and arenas. Facial recognition companies are forcefully marketing their racially biased products as false solutions to COVID-19—the NBA cannot buy these lies.
As the league makes plans to get fans back in arenas for next season, they cannot consider facial recognition. Facial recognition gathers massive amounts of biometric data and frequently misidentifies Black and Brown people. These dangerous practices are only some of the reasons why cities across the country are banning the technology entirely.
Tell the NBA: ban facial recognition in arenas!
Like nuclear or biological weapons, facial recognition poses a threat to human society and basic liberty that far outweighs any potential benefits. Silicon Valley lobbyists are disingenuously calling for light “regulation” of facial recognition so they can continue to profit by rapidly spreading this surveillance dragnet. They’re trying to avoid the real debate: whether technology this dangerous should even exist. Industry-friendly and government-friendly oversight will not fix the dangers inherent in law enforcement's use of facial recognition: we need an all-out ban.
Facial recognition surveillance programs identify the wrong person up to 98% of the time. These errors have real-world impacts, including harassment, wrongful imprisonment, and deportation.
Law enforcement officers frequently search facial recognition databases without warrants—or even reasonable suspicion that you’ve done anything wrong. This violates the Fourth Amendment ... and our basic human rights.
Facial recognition software programmatically misidentifies people of color, women, and children —supercharging discrimination and putting vulnerable people at greater risk of systemic abuse.
Once our biometric information is collected and stored in government databases, it’s an easy target for identity thieves or state-sponsored hackers. Successful attacks have already happened, and will only grow more commonplace as government surveillance expands.
Police officers across the United States routinely abuse confidential databases to spy on exes, business partners, neighbors, and journalists.
Facial recognition is unlike any other form of surveillance. It enables automated and ubiquitous monitoring of an entire population, and it is nearly impossible to avoid. If we don’t stop it from spreading, it will be used not to keep us safe, but to control and oppress us—just as it is already being used in authoritarian states.
San Francisco, CA, Oakland, CA, Berkeley, CA, and Somerville, MA have already passed local ordinances banning facial recognition. Sign up now to help kickstart more local & state-level efforts:
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And don’t forget to spread the word on social media so that your friends and family know that use of this dangerous technology is spreading across the country.