2019: Facial Recognition And Corporate Surveillance Become Commonplace

By MassPrivateI

2019 will go down as the year facial recognition and corporate surveillance became commonplace.

I wrote approximately thirty-three different facial recognition stories last year and the majority of them dealt with facial recognition surveillance of the public.

From Walgreens, Nestle, and Coors using iris-tracking cameras to Home Depot and Lowe’s using facial recognition cameras to secretly identify millions of customers, the number of ways corporations monitor the public is staggering.

And corporations are not shy about how they use this technology to identify everyone.

Recently, I wrote about the NEC Corporation opening a facial recognition “customer experience” center in Washington, DC and how they planned to use it to convince politicians that facial recognition of the public is a good thing.

NEC is so confident that politicians will accept facial recognition, they used iris recognition cameras to identify everyone at a film and music conference in Texas.

NEC’s “Fahamu Mama-Mtoto (To know mother and child)” motto is really a plan to identify every mother and child in the world using facial recognition.

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A few months ago, I wrote about how corporations used “Money USA20/20” to expand facial recognition worldwide. Corporations like Proxyclick have even gone so far as to suggest that the public will be impressed by corporate facial recognition.

From nightclubs to bars, businesses are secretly using facial recognition to identity patrons. From facial recognition elevators to facial recognition police robocops our privacy is in danger like never before.

Amazon Experience Centers and Ring doorbell surveillance networks are changing the way we view corporate/police partnerships.

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In many states, police are trying to convince the public to conduct internet sales and swaps in police stations or parking lots. In Washington, Jackson’s Convenient Stores use a cop-run facial recognition company to identify every customer.

Sports stadiums like Gillette Stadium and music festivals have corporate owners using facial recognition, while Major League Baseball uses CLEAR facial recognition to identify millions of fans.

In Idaho, the Boise City Hall uses facial recognition to identify and blacklist anyone that enters. It won’t be long before police start using facial recognition glasses to identify anyone they come in contact with. From Detroit to San Diego, police use smart streetlights to identify and track people in real-time. Police dispatchers across the country are using CCTV cameras to surveil 30 million Americans in real-time, and in Baltimore, police use surveillance planes to monitor the public in real-time. (To find out more about Baltimore’s surveillance planes click here.)

Police often use Lexis Nexis’s facial recognition or Amazon’s Rekogntion to get around privacy laws to identify a suspect, their friends and family members.

Police facial recognition is a lot worse that what you have been told: at least half of all Americans are in a police facial recognition database.

American and Chinese cities lead the world in spying on their citizens. According to Comparitech, thirteen U.S. cities lead the world in spying on their citizens.

#10- Atlanta, GA
#12- Chicago, IL
#27- Washington, DC
#37- San Francisco, CA
#41- San Diego, CA
#45- Boston, MA
#57- New York City, NY
#65- Miami, FL
#68- Detroit, MI
#78- Houston, TX
#83- Philadelphia, PA
#96- Dallas, TX
#119- Los Angeles, CA

Much has been written about government surveillance, but until this year the media has largely ignored corporate facial recognition and their ties to law enforcement. I am hopeful that will change in 2020, as Americans see the dangers of being identified and tracked everywhere they go.

You can read more at the MassPrivateI blog, where this article first appeared.

Top image credit: Milwaukee Independent

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