Facebook/Meta has announced plans to shut down facial recognition system this month. Digital rights group Fight for the Future issued the following statement, which can be attributed to Caitlin Seeley George, campaign director (she/her):
“Facial recognition is one of the most dangerous and politically toxic technologies ever created. Even Facebook knows that. Companies like Delta and Macy’s should ask themselves what they’re thinking by expanding and doubling down on their use of the highly dangerous technology. Lawmakers should ask why they’re allowing government contracts with Clearview instead of banning use of the technology. From misidentifying Black and Brown people (which has already led to instances of wrongful arrests) to making it impossible to move through our lives without being constantly surveilled, we cannot trust governments, law enforcement, or private companies with this kind of invasive surveillance. And even as algorithms improve, facial recognition will only be more dangerous. This technology will enable authoritarian governments to target and crack down on religious minorities and political dissent; it will automate the funneling of people into prisons without making us safer; it will create new tools for stalking, abuse, and identity theft.
There is only logical action for lawmakers and companies: It should be banned.”
Fight for the Future has led coalitions and grassroots actions calling for a ban on government and law enforcement use of facial recognition, by private companies, including festivals and retailers, and by schools.