Washington D.C.– Following the introduction of the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act by Representatives Yvette Clark (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), which prohibits the use of facial recognition software at public housing units that receive funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Color Of Change–the nation’s largest online racial justice organization–issued the following statement from Senior Campaign Director Brandi Collins-Dexter:
“Facial recognition technology in public housing is not about making us safe, it’s about controlling our movements and deciding who belongs and who doesn’t. As long as publicly funded properties are allowed to install these invasive surveillance tools, Black residents and marginalized communities will continue to be disproportionately exposed to the dangers of unchecked policing, surveillance, and discrimination. Facial recognition software has bias baked into its coding, ensuring that landlords are more likely to deny us rightful entry into our homes or wrongfully perceive us as trespassing. This bill is one measure to stop the rise of Digital Jim Crow and the technologies that supercharge discrimination for Black people in this country.
In May, Color Of Change and our 1.5 million members successfully petitioned and won the first-ever citywide ban on the use of surveillance technologies in San Francisco, leading other municipalities across the country to follow suit. Today, we commend Representatives Yvette Clark, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib for introducing a federal bill that brings this important safety issue to the national stage.
A movement is building. We will continue our advocacy to support this bill and expand the safeguards against surveillance technologies across municipal, state, and federal governments.”