NYPD Ordered To Disclose Facial Recognition Protocol For BLM Protests
By Alexa Heah, 02 Aug 2022
A Supreme Court judge has recently ruled that the New York Police Department (NYPD) must go ahead with a public records request to disclose documents related to its use of facial recognition and other methods of surveillance during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in 2020.
This means, despite the police agency’s original rejection of the request, which it said would be “unreasonably burdensome” considering there were over 30 million documents, it will now have to fork over a “far more reasonable” 2,700 items.
As such, Amnesty International, who had first brought the case against the NYPD using a Freedom of Information Law request, will now tailor and re-submit its request to just the 2,700 documents determined by Justice Lawrence Love.
The organization had said New Yorkers fighting for racial equality had “a right to know” the full scale of the force’s facial recognition surveillance, though the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, a privacy advocate, had claimed the NYPD intentionally denied the request in favor of a cover up.
Matt Mahmoudi, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights, told the NY Daily News that the court’s ruling signified the NYPD had broken the law by “withholding information,” and that the development was a “significant step” in holding the agency accountable for “discriminatory surveillance.”
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