Banning Facial Recognition Technology in Public Housing Would Be Misguided, Says Leading Tech Policy Think Tank

July 23, 2019

WASHINGTON—In response to the anticipated introduction of the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act by Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the world’s leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from ITIF Vice President Daniel Castro:

Banning facial recognition technology in public housing would be misguided. Congress should allow tenants in public housing to have access to the same technological innovations available to all other Americans. Smart home technology offers residents convenience and safety, and helps landlords keep down costs. Facial recognition technology, in particular, can be more user-friendly, accessible, and secure than traditional keys. For example, with facial recognition, residents never need to worry about losing keys or paying for replacements, and landlords do not have to be concerned about changing locks. Residents could also use the technology to keep safe from dangerous persons, such as receiving alerts if known stalkers or perpetrators of domestic violence try to gain entry to their residences. Rather than lock out low-income Americans from the latest innovations, Congress should welcome the availability of technology that prevents them from getting locked out of their homes.