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Public Safety

As every sector of the global economy and nearly every facet of modern society undergo digital transformation, ITIF advocates for policies that spur not just the development of IT innovations, but more importantly their adoption and use throughout the economy. In the area of public safety, ITIF studies how technological advances in areas such as data analytics and high-quality video can enhance national security and emergency response to promote public safety.

Public Safety

Publications and Events

November 16, 2021|Op-Eds & Commentary, Blogs

Should Law Enforcement Use Facial Recognition to Identify Capitol Insurrectionists? Not According to EFF

EFF tries to deflect criticism of its position by arguing law enforcement has many other tools at its disposal—but that claim is a crafty bit of misdirection because EFF has opposed those tools too.

September 18, 2021|Op-Eds & Commentary, Blogs

Virtue-Signaling Connecticut Town Might Accidentally Ban Its Local Officials From Using iPhones

Activists continue to lobby local governments for facial recognition technology bans, falsely arguing it is racist, sexist, and a threat to free speech. They dismiss or ignore all evidence showing how it keeps people safe, and some local officials have fallen for their arguments hook, line, and sinker.

October 2, 2020|Op-Eds & Commentary

No-Contact Government Means More Than Just Online Services

As the global pandemic stretches into the fall with no clear end in sight, public-sector agencies must wrestle with how to safely reopen government operations while protecting the health and safety of government employees and citizens. Achieving this will require government leaders to focus on a...

July 13, 2020|Reports & Briefings

Why New Calls to Subvert Commercial Encryption Are Unjustified

Law enforcement argues that “warrant-proof” encryption presents a unique and urgent threat by preventing them from accessing user data. But history shows that government efforts to subvert encryption would negatively impact individuals and businesses. As such, banning the technology is not the answer.

June 16, 2020|Op-Eds & Commentary, Blogs

Banning Facial Recognition Will Not Advance Efforts at Police Reform

Regardless of where one stands on police reform, banning facial recognition for law enforcement makes little sense. To understand the reasons, consider some of the most popular ideas for responding to police violence.

May 18, 2020|Op-Eds & Commentary, Podcasts

Podcast: The COVID Privacy Challenge, With Amitai Etzioni

The COVID crisis has shifted the data privacy debate away from its prior focus on individual rights to one more focused on collective needs and responsibilities—for example, when it comes to sharing and analyzing medial data related to the pandemic, or tracking individuals’ contacts. Rob and Jackie discuss these issues with noted scholar and public intellectual Amitai Etzioni.

February 23, 2020|Op-Eds & Commentary

No, Government Should Not Halt the Use of Facial-Recognition Technology

The most common facial-recognition applications are benign—and Fourth Amendment protections, coupled with deeply held views about civil liberties, put limits on what government can do.

November 25, 2019|Op-Eds & Commentary

Facial-Recognition Technology: Closer to Utopia Than Dystopia

Rob Atkinson explains in the National Review that with the proper safeguards, facial-recognition technology can help law enforcement catch criminals.

October 21, 2019|Op-Eds & Commentary, Blogs

In Attempt to Ban Facial Recognition Technology, Massachusetts Could Inadvertently Ban Facebook, iPhones, and More

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing on October 22 to consider a bill that would enact a statewide of ban of government use of facial recognition technology. This is the latest overreaction to the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that activists have managed to harness into legislative action, and it risks far-reaching unintended consequences.

September 26, 2019|Testimonies & Filings

An Open Letter to Congress on Facial Recognition

A coalition of 39 organizations and individuals from prominent research institutions, trade associations, law enforcement groups, and technology companies advocates for appropriate safeguards so that law enforcement can use facial recognition technology safely, accurately, and effectively.

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