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Testimony on Implementation of Local Law 3 of 2021

By: Daniel Schwarz Senior Privacy & Technology Strategist, Policy

Biometric surveillance technologies, which include face, voice, and gait recognition, enable the invasive power to track who we are, where we go, and who we meet. But they are also highly flawed and rely on racially-biased systems. The widespread use of these technologies presents a clear danger to all New Yorkers’ civil liberties and threatens to erode our fundamental rights to privacy, protest, and equal treatment under the law. In recognition of these harms, the New York City Council enacted Local Law 3 of 2021 (“LL 3”) as a first step to diagnose the spread and use of these surveillance technologies in businesses. In order for this law to not just be a mere rubber stamp on the use of biometric surveillance, it is incumbent on the Department to promulgate rules that, at the very least, give the public basic information about the technologies in use and any privacy policies that govern them.

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