New York City’s Democrat Mayor Eric Adams has responded to the backlash over his increased public surveillance by claiming that “Big Brother is protecting you!”
Adams has come under mounting criticism over increasing the use of facial recognition technology in NYC.
Elected officials have been expressing concerns that using such technology could lead to an all-pervasive surveillance state.
But the mayor blames his “woke” predecessor Bill de Blasio, who oversaw spiraling crime rates in the city.
Adams asserts that his priority is to “stabilize” the situation after New Yorkers felt they were living in a “state of lawlessness.”
Facial recognition technology uses surveillance cameras to flag individuals who appear on databases of criminal suspects when they enter certain public locations.
However, the technology is far from perfect and the cameras need to scan the face of every innocent person that passes in the hope of flagging a crook.
“We will also move forward on using the latest in technology to identify problems, follow up on leads and collect evidence — from facial recognition technology to new tools that can spot those carrying weapons, we will use every available method to keep our people safe,” Adams previously asserted.
The Democrat mayor also brazenly suggested that mass surveillance wasn’t a disturbing slippery slide.
Instead, Adams argues that a surveillance state is a good thing.
“It blows my mind how much we have not embraced technology, and part of that is because many of our electeds are afraid,” he told Politico.
“Anything technology they think, ‘Oh it’s a boogeyman. It’s Big Brother watching you.’
“No, Big Brother is protecting you.”
As in George Orwell’s dystopian classic “1984,” Adams presumably thinks that New Yorkers will learn to “love Big Brother.”
Albert Fox Cahn, the head of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, responded by warning that facial recognition technology would be weaponized to crack down on “every aspect of dissent” in the city.
“These are technologies that would be chilling in anyone’s hands,” he said.
“But to give an agency with such a horrifying record of surveillance abuse even more power, at a time when they face dwindling oversight, is a recipe for disaster.”
Civil liberties advocates have warned that making facial recognition technology ubiquitous could lead to a Minority Report-style society where everyone, whether they have a criminal record or not, is tracked everywhere they go.
In China, authorities expanded the use of the tech as a form of permission slip to decide whether citizens are allowed to get online.
The move is an extension of the Communist state’s social credit score program.
“At present, a Chinese citizen will need to show his or her ID card while applying for a landline or the internet,” the Daily Mail reports.
“The facial-recognition test is set to verify that the ID card belongs to the applicant.”
READ MORE: WEF Proposes Surveillance Tech to Track Individuals’ Climate Impact