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Cuomo’s New Crossings Project Ushers in New Era of Surveillance

Governor Cuomo unveiled his plan on Wednesday to “Reimagine New York’s Crossings”– an initiative that includes several technological updates to transportation systems in New York. However, among these updates the “crossings project” also calls for installing controversial advanced cameras, license plate readers and facial recognition technology, which is known to be notoriously inaccurate and misidentifies people of color at a higher rate than white people. The plan also will install sensors and cameras at “structurally sensitive” points on bridges and tunnels. It is not yet clear how the massive database of information that this transformative surveillance system can create will be used and who will have access to it.

The following statement is attributable to Mariko Hirose, senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union.

“Governor Cuomo’s plan has the potential to put thousands and thousands of people’s images and data in a massive database that could be used by the government for who knows what. There is also an enormous risk that innocent people will be misidentified as terrorists, especially people of color who are more likely to be inaccurately identified by the technology. We are taking one step closer to the dystopian world of Minority Report without any discussion of the serious privacy concerns that are implicated.”

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