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Facial Recognition Tech: 4 Things You Must Know

Updated June 18

On May 22 and June 4, Congress held hearings on facial recognition technology. The Congressional hearings examine the use of facial recognition technology by federal, state, and local government agencies, corporations and social media companies. Specifically, lawmakers address privacy and civil rights concerns.

Facial Recognition Tech: 4 Things You Must Know

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Click here to watch the Hearing on C-SPAN
  1. Facial recognition technology programs cannot accurately identify people of color and women.
  2. Facial recognition technology is not regulated by government.
  3. Law enforcement agencies and corporations use facial recognition technology without our consent.
  4. Facial recognition technology contributes to employment discrimination — against people over the age of 40, women and minorities — and to disparities in health insurance premiums.

All information provided is verifiable, for example: the videos and resources provided (and the sources cited in the resources provided) confirm all statements.

Facial Recognition Technology Resources

  1. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Joy Buolamwini, Founder, Algorithmic Justice League]
  2. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Professor Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law]
  3. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Dr. Cedric Alexander, Former President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives]
  4. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties Ms. Clare Garvie , Senior Associate, Georgetown University Law Center, Center on Privacy & Technology]
  5. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Ms. Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union]

Video Resources: Facial Recognition Tech

  1. Watch Video: [ by United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) Its Impact on our Civil rights and Liberties on YouTube]
  2. Watch Video on C-SPAN: [The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing to examine the use of facial recognition technology (Part 2) by the government and commercial entities and its impact on civil rights and liberties. Witnesses discussed the flaws in the technology, including programs that could not accurately identify people of color and women. Other concerns raised were the lack of regulation and oversight in the technology, how law enforcement is using facial recognition, fears of racial profiling, and the privacy issues surrounding Facebook, Uber, and Amazon’s use of the technology]

About the Author

Olivia P. Walker is an award winning public affairs and administration professional. She launched O.W.B Public Affairs and writes all site content. She previously consulted for the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering and served as government affairs and public policy analyst at WellCare Health Plans.  Olivia is a fusion belly dancer and a member of the American Society for Public Affairs and Administration’s section on public law and administration.

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#Metoo,Toxic Masculinity: Gillette Ad is Inspirational NOT Controversial

 

Gillette’s “We Believe” ad is inspirational not controversial. Gillette is the men’s and women’s safety razors brand responsible for the controversial ad trending across social media. To be clear, the ad responds to the #MeToo movement, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity. Further, the ad is a direct response to society’s changing preferences. Specifically, the ad reinforces the notion that brands must take a stance on broad reaching social issues to assure market relevance. * The ad runs under two minutes long.

Shaving supply giant Gillette creates controversy with #BestManCanBe Advert.

  • Gillette’s ad features recent news clips about the women’s rights movement and bullying.
  • The ad depicts scenes of men bullying each other and catcalling women, etc.
  • “Brand Activism” is a term that comes to mind…
  • Gillette’s “We Believe” ad is inspirational not controversial. 
Gillette ad proves controversial
James Woods believes Gillette’s #TheBestMenCanBe ad is anti-male.

#Metoo and Gillette’s ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Ad

The Gillette ad, and the backlash to it, illustrate the peculiarity of this time in American history. First, Gillette isn’t trying to promote a more gender-equal society as much as it is trying to sell something. This ad wasn’t made out of the goodness of the company’s heart; it was made because the company of course knew it would merit significant media coverage and boost sales — Jill Filipovic, CNN

If you’re on social media, you — more than likely — know about Gillette’s recent “We Believe” ad. Further, if you use social media, you are aware of the backlash to Gillette’s commercial. Why is the ad so controversial? Certainly, the answer is really very simple:

  • The Gillette ad is controversial because it promotes equality.

The Gillette ad is controversial because it promotes equality. Furthermore, people who watch the ad and analyze it in its relevant context understand this. Moreover, and to a point made by Jill Filipovic, Gillette’s ad characterizes the peculiarity of this time in American history, meaning:

  • brands know the days of hiding from social issues are far gone; brands looking to expand or support market relevance know social cause marketing is important.  In fact …

Gillette, #Metoo and Brand Activism

While the Gillette ad is hardly a way to move gender equality forward, it is a marker of that movement. Companies don’t advertise on concepts they think will tank their brands. That’s why so many ads have been so sexist for so long: There was very little cost to misogyny in the service of capitalism. But thanks to significant feminist progress in recent years, that calculus is shifting (Jill Filipovic, CNN). In other words …

  • The Gillette Ad is Inspirational NOT Controversial
Thanks to the #Metoo movement, the extent and scope of work place misogyny is undeniable.

To be sure, progress towards gender equality stokes fear and resentment among (some) beneficiaries of gender inequality, such as:

Piers Morgan says Gillette ad fuels the global assault on masculinity

What is Toxic Masculinity?

Toxic masculinity refers to the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the masculine gender role. 

Resources

Here are more resources for readers who want to learn more about Toxic Masculinity:

 

(1) [Read Article: What We Mean When We Say, “Toxic Masculinity”]

(2) [Read Article: Nontoxic Masculinity — The Good Men Project]

(3) [Read: APA Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men]

(4) [Read Article: Southern Baptist Leader Rejects “Toxic Masculinity” Guidelines as Anti-Christian]

Perspectives

Perspective 1

 

 

Perspective 2

 

Perspective 3

 

Let’s Talk About It

Gillette’s “We Believe” ad is inspirational not controversial. First of all, the ad responds to the #MeToo movement, sexual harassment and toxic masculinity. Additionally, the ad is a direct response to society’s changing preferences. Specifically, the ad reinforces the notion that brands must take a stance on broad reaching social issues to assure market relevance.

 

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The Children Are Our Future… But Children in America are Slaughtered…At School.

The Children are our Future

The children are our future. Yet American children are being slaughtered, at school. Today, one week after the Texas school shooting, there was another school shooting in Indiana.

The Second Amendment

As written in the Constitution, the Second Amendment stipulates: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” As a victim of a random act of violence, I support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. To this day, I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares. Part of me thinks, if I only had a gun…

But, I am also a woman:

  • With nieces and nephews;
  • With a soul;
  • Who cares about the lives of children;
  • Who grew up attending church; and
  • Who understands the relationship between 501(c)(4) nonprofits — and other advocacy nonprofits subsidized by the government — and the political process.

Children in America are Slaughtered at School

I do not have all of the answers but I do know we — collectively — are failing our children.

The children in America are scared and scarred. This is evidenced in many ways, particularly by the highly disturbing and trending hashtag #ifIdieinaschoolshooting

If I Die in a School Shooting

#IfIDieInaSchoolShooting is a trending hashtag. The recent tweets illustrated below are from students, teachers, and parents.

School Shooting in Indiana: The children in America are scared and scarred. This is evidenced in many ways, particularly by the highly disturbing and trending hashtag #ifIdieinaschoolshooting Click To Tweet

The tweets provided represent a small fraction of similar tweets. There are thousands of similar tweets. The tweets reflect the collectives fears held by students in the United States. Students are afraid to go to school because they don’t want to die in a school shooting.

Draw your own conclusions.