Surveillance & Mental Health, Predictive Policing and the State’s Data Accountability

  • Last year, Amazon’s face recognition technology falsely identified 28 members of the American Congress as people who had been arrested for crimes, disproportionately misidentifying African-Americans and Latin-Americans. This raises concerns that face surveillance used by governments can fuel discriminatory surveillance and target racial minorities.
  • These harmful effects are also already being felt in China, where facial recognition software targets the domestic minority populations, particularly the Muslim Uighur minority in China’s “war on terror”. “Anomalies” in their behaviour that can trigger suspicion includes “dressing in an Islamic fashion and failing to attend nationalistic flag-raising ceremonies” This is worrying as suspicion can be activated based on culture, religion and ethnicity as legitimate identifiers of threat.

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