It has been six months since I informed the public about the dangers of police Knightscope robots that look an awful lot like Doctor Who’s infamous Dalek’s. At the time, I warned people that police would use Knightscope’s thermal imaging cameras to identify what is under everyone’s clothes. Now, a recent article in One Zero revealed that Knightscope has turned their Robocops into mobile facial recognition devices that can also blacklist people.
“One presentation slide features the company’s facial recognition capabilities, indicating that the company can surface a known person’s name, the similarity of the person’s face compared to a known image, and a log of other identities that the robot has seen.”
It is bad enough that the Feds and police use secret blacklists but it is an entirely different story when private companies like Knightscope use facial recognition to do the same thing.
What we are seeing is a total transformation of our legal system run by corporate interests.
One Zero revealed that Knightscope can label someone a person of interest with terms like, “causes trouble or sketchy dude.”
Thesaurus.com describes ’causes trouble’ as, “challenging the status quo, to disagree or to protest.”
If law enforcement is using Robocops to blacklist people for challenging the status quo or disagreeing with our government then everyone should stand up and take notice.
The article also indicated that Knightscope has access to things like domestic violence records, drivers license suspensions, custody disputes, and of course hostile terminations.
Giving corporations access to court records and license plate information at the touch of a button is like opening all the flood gates of the Panama Canal at once and hoping nothing catastrophic happens.
Right now, companies like Knightscope, the Digital Recognition Network, Vigilant Solutions, Rekor Systems, CLEAR, IdentoGo, and Lexis Nexis are collecting and storing vast amounts of personal data on everyone.
WBUR revealed that the Massachusetts State Police used General Dynamics, Robot Dog “as a mobile remote observation device to provide troopers with images of suspicious devices or potentially hazardous locations.”
Police Robocops and Robot Dogs are doing much more than flagging people that cause trouble and taking images of suspicious devices.
Robocops are listening to everyone’s phone calls
One Zero’s article also revealed that Knightscope’s Robocops can discreetly scan wireless devices and match a person’s face to their cell phone.
“This capability allows the robot to discreetly track individuals in its proximity, regardless of whether it can identify their faces. The presentation details how a person’s cell phone can be matched to their identity, and be used to track every time they come in proximity of a Knightscope robot over the course of several days.”
This is flabbergasting, not only are police using Stingray devices to intercept everyone’s cell phone calls, texts and pictures, but now can use they can use Robocops to secretly identify people’s phones
The North Central Texas College Police Department claims their Robocop “will help minimize parking lot incidents” and it can use strobe LED lights on people.
“Knightscope’s ADM uses a powerful LED strobe effect, and continuous patrol sound to deter potential criminals. It uses face recognition, and thermal imaging sensors to automatically detect suspicious persons, or unauthorized vehicles.”
Knightscope’s reach into our private lives appears to be growing; they recently announced that their Federal Government Initiative would put Robocops in the Pentagon, Intelligence Community and U.S. Military Forces.
“After years of developing Knightscope’s security robot technologies, we are excited to leverage our expertise to help the Nation better secure federal facilities, bases, and assets, which we view as a significant growth opportunity in the coming years,” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Knightscope, Inc.
The Urban Dictionary’s 6th. example of sketchy, is a perfect example of how corporations view profits versus privacy, “someone’s whose true intentions are at best, questionable.”
And that is exactly how we should view law enforcement’s claims that Robocops and Robot Dogs are needed for public safety: questionable.
This article was originally published at MassPrivatei.
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