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Surveillance City: NYPD Can Use More Than 15,000 Cameras to Track People Using Facial Recognition in Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn

Posted By: RumorMail
Date: Friday, 4-Jun-2021 11:34:09
www.rumormill.news/173882

By International

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has the ability to track people in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx by running images from 15,280 surveillance cameras into invasive and discriminatory facial recognition software, a new Amnesty International investigation reveals.

Thousands of volunteers from around the world participated in the investigation, tagging 15,280 surveillance cameras at intersections across Manhattan (3,590), Brooklyn (8,220) and the Bronx (3,470). Combined, the three boroughs account for almost half of the intersections (47%) in New York City, constituting a vast surface area of pervasive surveillance.

“This sprawling network of cameras can be used by police for invasive facial recognition and risk turning New York into an Orwellian surveillance city,” says Matt Mahmoudi, Artificial Intelligence & Human Rights Researcher at Amnesty International.

“You are never anonymous. Whether you’re attending a protest, walking to a particular neighborhood, or even just grocery shopping – your face can be tracked by facial recognition technology using imagery from thousands of camera points across New York.”

Most surveilled neighborhood

East New York in Brooklyn, an area that is 54.4% Black, 30% Hispanic and 8.4% White according to the latest census data, was found to be the most surveilled neighborhood in all three boroughs, with an alarming 577 cameras found at intersections.

The NYPD has used facial recognition technology (FRT) in 22,000 cases since 2017 — half of which were in 2019 alone. When camera imagery is run through FRT, the NYPD is able to track every New Yorker’s face as they move through the city.

FRT works by comparing camera imagery with millions of faces stored in its databases, many scraped from sources including social media without users’ knowledge or consent. The technology can threaten the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and privacy.

For example, the intersection of Grand Street and Eldridge Street sits near the border of Chinatown and was near a key location in the Black Lives Matter protests. Our investigation found three NYPD-owned Argus cameras around the site, in addition to four other public cameras and more than 170 private surveillance cameras, which our modeling suggests have the capacity to track faces from as far as 200 meters away (or up to 2 blocks).


https://youtu.be/kAI5yHdDDSw

The possible area surveilled by three NYPD Argus cameras in the Lower East Side, close to the site of a Black Lives Matter protest. We also identified four traffic cameras owned by the New York City Department of Transport (DOT), and over 100 private cameras in the area.


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