New York to Use Facial Recognition to Catch Terrorists - Dispatch Weekly

October 7, 2016 - Reading time: 4 minutes

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York plans to install cameras, sensors and facial recognition on state bridges and tunnels, identifying drivers as the cross the bridges each day.

The facial recognition implementation is only one part of a $100 billion investment into state infrastructure that was summarized by the governor.

Anti –Terrorism Measure

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The big idea is that the cameras will counteract terrorism, as they will recognise faces using a database of known suspects.

Cuomo noted, “At each crossing, and at structurally sensitive points on bridges and tunnels, advanced cameras and sensors will be installed to read licence plates and test emerging facial-recognition software and equipment.”

Currently New York’s DMV uses facial-recognition technology that has led to more than 100 arrests and 900s open investigations since January.

Adapting to Modern Threats

Cuomo said, “In this age of terrorist activity and lone wolves, if you look at points of vulnerability you’ll go to our tunnels and to our bridges. So really they have to be reimagined for a new reality.”

Auto-Tolling Systems Saves Time

The governor also aims to add auto-tolling systems saving time when driving. Cameras will be able to detect your identity through your plate rather than manually stopping and paying. Using an E-ZPass allows you to be charged automatically.

Protection from Earthquakes

As well as a technological make-over, the bridges and tunnels will be covered with LED lights to make nights brigher and also providing light shows.

Both structures will be protected against earthquakes by making them more resilient.

Concerns over Privacy

Mariko Hirose, a senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liverties Union said to Vocativ:

“It’s troubling that we’re one step closer to the world of Minority Report without any discussion of the serious privacy concerns that are implicated by this plan.”

New York governor Andrew Cuomo wants to give the state’s bridges and tunnels a high-tech makeover, starting with the installation of cameras, sensors and facial recognition equipment.

Is facial recognition to catch terrorists the future or is it breaking serious privacy concerns?

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.