Half a billion dollars was written into the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed Wednesday by the U.S. Senate to pay cities to experiment with technologies for ‘Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation,’ which could include remote biometric systems, sensors and drones.
Reaction to the inclusion was rapid. The Intercept spoke with a senior staff attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation who said the ‘SMART’ money will buy more surveillance using facial recognition. The industry has yet to convince critics alleging face biometrics introduce racial and gender bias and misuse by law enforcement of the technology’s safety.
Also of concern is how this technology, if not the funding, will become tangled with relevant military programs as has happened with other software and hardware being deployed to monitor and quell dissent.