NYC subway denies using "real-time face recognition screens" in Times Square

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York has denied suggestions to put facial recognition cameras on the subway, saying a trick designed to scare the dodgers was misinterpreted. "There is no ability to recognize or identify individuals and absolutely no plans" to do so with the New York City subway cameras, says MTA spokesperson Maxwell Young.

Young was responding to a photo taken at the Times Square subway station on New York Times analyst Alice Fung, showing a monitor placed prominently with the words "RECORDING IN PROGRESS" and "Please pay your rate" superimposed on a video transmission. "Hey @MTA, who are you sharing the recordings with?" Fung asked .

The monitor had the name of Wisenet, a security company that prominently announces facial recognition capabilities, and the video channel shows the squares Faces of the subjects. (Wisenet's parent company, Hanwha Techwin, did not respond to an email requesting a comment). "While privacy advocates and technology giants are debating how face surveillance should be regulated, [MTA and Port Authority Bus Terminal] they simply put a real-time face recognition screen in the Times. Sq meter", ] tweeted Natasha Singer another staff member of Times .

Young says that the recordings are not being monitored to identify the individuals in the video. "There is absolutely no facial recognition component in these cameras, no facial recognition software, or anything else that can be used to automatically identify people in any way, and we have no plans to add facial recognition software to these cameras in the future". he tells The Verge . "These cameras are for the sole purpose of deterring the evasion of the fee: if you see yourself on a monitor, you are less likely to avoid the fee."

The cameras supposedly can detect movement and recognize that there is a human on the screen, which is a feature that is common in security cameras, as well as in general purpose photography and video equipment. "But, once again, there is no ability to recognize or identify people and absolutely no plan to do so," says Young. The New York subway system is already well guarded; The MTA hired Lockheed Martin and others to install 1,000 cameras and 3,000 motion sensors throughout the system in 2005, and in 2015, the MTA said there were 4,500 cameras looking at the subway. The police also perform random inspections at subway stations.

The MTA has indicated that the tourniquet jump and other tariff evasion tactics are an important factor in the metro's financial problems. , although some external observers have questioned whether the subject is too much emphasized. As The New York Times reported last year, a combination of factors may have led to higher levels of evasion, including the reduction of agents in subway stations, the decision to stop prosecuting many criminals and a growing frustration With delays and overcrowding in the subway. Times Square is one of the largest metro stations, but Young told The Verge that it was possible for these monitors to appear in other parts of the city.

The MTA has implemented facial recognition cameras in other places. Last year, it launched a pilot program to identify drivers on the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, a move that the American Civil Liberties Union warned could be "widespread, real-time surveillance of everyone passing by" and "a radical change in the government of our government. " ability to track us. " However, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the system had not detected any face in the first tests. That program, according to Young, is not related to the monitor in Times Square.

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