Ståle Grut/NRKbeta via Flickr
Worst Timeline

AOC Warns That Facial Recognition Is “Real-Life ‘Black Mirror'”

byKristin Houser
1. 16. 20
Ståle Grut/NRKbeta via Flickr

That selfie filter isn't as innocuous as you might think.

Dark Times

On Wednesday, the United States House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on facial recognition technology. During it, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez closed her remarks by comparing the tech to a dystopian sci-fi series.

“This is some real-life ‘Black Mirror’ stuff that we’re seeing here,” she said. “And I think it’s really important that everyone really understand what’s happening because… this is happening secretly, as well.”

Frowny Face

Black Mirror” wasn’t the only pop culture reference Ocasio-Cortez made during her five minutes of remarks. She also noted how mobile apps help bolster facial recognition systems by collecting data — unbeknownst to users — through seemingly innocuous filters.

“People think I’m going to put on a cute filter and have puppy dog ears,” she said, “and not realize that that data’s being collected by a corporation or the state, depending on what country you’re in, in order to surveil you potentially for the rest of your life.”

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Automating Injustice

During the hearing, Ocasio-Cortez also pointed out how the error rates for the facial recognition systems are often highest for people of color — and how those false matches can lead to false accusations of criminal activity.

“[T]hese technologies are almost automating injustices,” Ocasio-Cortez said — and that sounds pretty dystopian to us.

READ MORE: AOC is sounding the alarm about the rise of facial recognition: ‘This is some real-life “Black Mirror” stuff’ [Business Insider]

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More on facial recognition: Report: Facial Recognition Should Be Banned From Everyday Life


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