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December 2, 2020 23 min

Facial recognition technology is being deployed in housing projects, homeless shelters, schools, even across entire cities—usually without much fanfare or discussion. To some, this represents a critical technology for helping vulnerable communities gain access to social services. For others, it’s a flagrant invasion of privacy and human dignity. In this episode, we speak to the advocates, technologists, and dissidents dealing with the messy consequences that come when a technology that can identify you almost anywhere (even if you’re wearing a mask) is deployed without any clear playbook for regulating or managing it.

We meet: 

Eric Williams, senior staff attorney at Detroit Justice Center

Fabian Rogers, community advocate at Surveillance Technology Oversight Project

Helen Knight, founder of Tech for Social Good

Ray Bolling, president and co-founder of Eyemetric Identity Systems

Mary Sunden, executive director of the Christ Church Community Development Corporation


This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens, and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield.

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