For more than two years, Detroit has been employing facial recognition technology. Last week, Rep. Rashida Tlaib brought it to national attention when she called the city out for its use of the system.
“You should probably rethink this whole facial recognition bullsh**t,” she directed at the Detroit Police Department on Twitter.
.@detroitpolice You should probably rethink this whole facial recognition bulls**t.https://t.co/ZvHEEQxzWB— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 20, 2019
Tlaib, whose district includes portions of Detroit, linked to an article about Bernie Sanders’s recently-released Justice and Safety for All plan which calls for a ban on the use of the technology. Cities like San Francisco and Oakland in California and Somerville, Massachusetts have already passed local ordinances prohibiting governmental use of the technology. The restrictions don’t apply to private use.
Detroit’s own facial recognition technology is accessed through an agreement with DataWorks Plus. The city released a copy of in May in response to a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request.
The contract, which was worth over million dollars, describes the capabilities of FACE Watch Plus, which includes real-time video surveillance facial recognition capabilities…
and the ability to access multiple databases at once.
The system links with the department’s Project Greenlight, a program which gives police access to live surveillance streams of local gas stations and other businesses.
According to materials provided by the DPD, other agencies using the company’s software include the Michigan State Police, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, the Maryland Department of Public Works, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
You can read the full agreement between Detroit and DataWorks below or on the request page:
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Algorithmic Control by MuckRock Foundation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.