If you’re into tech, you’ve undoubtedly heard of/seen the rise of facial recognition technology. If you aren’t hip, in layman’s terms, facial recognition is a form of artificial intelligence that recognizes human faces by using biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video. However, everyone has not been open to facial recognition technology. Though it is good money with White men, it has proven to often be biased and inaccurate based on race and gender. Due to these inaccuracies, cities have been making moves to ban local government agencies (i.e. the police) from using facial recognition technology. So far, San Francisco and Somerville, MA, have banned it, with Oakland appearing to be poised to be the third American city to do so.
Now, the concerns with facial recognition technology have made it to a federal level. According to reports, landlords across the nation are installing smart home tech into their properties. This move is deemed by tenants to be a surveillance move and an invasion of privacy. In response, this week, Representatives Yvette Clarke (D-New York), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ayanna Pressly (D-Massachusetts) are expected to propose the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act. According to C-Net:
The proposed bill would prohibit all public housing units that receive funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development from using technology like facial recognition, according to a person familiar with the legislation.
The bill would also require HUD to submit a report on facial recognition, detailing its impact on public housing units and their tenants.
This bill would be the first of its kind to scrutinize the types of technology landlords impose on their tenants on a federal level. Be aware, though, that this law would only apply to public housing.