Ritchie Torres was appalled. In March, the New York City Council Member learned from the New York Times that the iconic sports and entertainment arena Madison Square Garden, the legendary home to the Knicks and the Rangers and an endless parade of arena performers, has used facial recognition software to scan the faces of spectators upon entrance. Details remain scant, but the technology is meant to identify “problem” attendees by matching their faces to those stored in a database. Using the largely unregulated technology–and not telling the public what was being done with their faces–“radically challenges privacy as we know it,” says Torres, who represents the Bronx. In October, he introduced a bill that aims to bring a modicum of transparency to businesses’ use of the biometric technology, as well as iris and fingerprint scanning, by requiring businesses to conspicuously disclose the use of the technology at business entrances. … [Read more...] about A New York City lawmaker is taking on companies that mine your face
New york city council member
UPDATED with video: A New York City firefighter died last night in a blaze at the Harlem apartment building being used as the set for the Edward Norton film Motherless Brooklyn. Related SAG-AFTRA Mourns NYC Firefighter Killed Battling Blaze On Movie Set “Our city lost a hero tonight,” New York mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted today. “Firefighter Michael R. Davidson was a 15-year veteran of @FDNY. The prayers of 8.5 million New Yorkers are with his wife, his four children and his loved ones.” The fire started around 11 PM Thursday at the five-story building on St. Nicholas Avenue that, according to reports, once housed the St. Nick’s Jazz Pub. New York City council member Mark D. Levine retweeted video footage of the blaze – see it below. Motherless Brooklyn, adapted from the Jonathan Lethem novel, stars Norton along with Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin. According to the FDNY, the fire, which spread fast throughout … [Read more...] about ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ Building Fire Claims Life Of New York City Firefighter
The race to fill New York City’s public advocate position is heating up, with at least a dozen candidates vying to fill the spot vacated by Letitia James, the incoming state attorney general. The public advocate position has served as a launching pad for higher office since its creation in 1993: Bill de Blasio was the third public advocate before becoming mayor of New York City. But perhaps more significantly, the public advocate is New York’s top watchdog post. They can introduce legislation, hold hearings, and bring lawsuits, and although they don’t have any voting power, they are well-positioned to hold the city government accountable to the people. Just last month, a group of city council members unsuccessfully tried to abolish the office of public advocate, criticizing it as “unnecessary.” “They don’t do nothing,” Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr. told Politico at the time. “People have been talking about that for many years. I … [Read more...] about Is Jumaane Williams a True Progressive? A Rising Star Makes His Case to Be New York City’s Top Watchdog
Rubén Díaz Sr.’s decades-long history of insensitive comments toward the gay community has made him no stranger to controversy. Mr. Díaz, a Pentecostal minister and former state senator from the Bronx, has been receiving and ignoring calls for his resignation since at least 1994. So it was no surprise that Mr. Díaz held his ground when many of his fellow New York City Council members asked him to resign last week, following his remarks that the “homosexual community” controlled the Council. He has reason to feel emboldened: It is extremely unlikely the Council would move to expel Mr. Díaz for his comments, although Council rules say that a member could face discipline ranging from reprimand to expulsion for conduct that includes violating “policies against discrimination and harassment.” The Council’s Committee on Standards and Ethics has opened an investigation into Mr. Díaz’s remarks, but several City Council … [Read more...] about How Does New York City Solve a Problem Like Rubén Díaz?
ARLINGTON, Va. – Amazon has made a more prosaic choice than the hype originally promised, naming New York City and the Washington, D.C. suburban county of Arlington, Virginia, as the two areas that will divvy up the 50,000 high-paying jobs the online retail giant is expected to bring. The announcement Tuesday comes after 14 months of intense jockeying by more than 230 cities vying to take home the glittering prize of becoming the home of Amazon's second headquarters. Instead, Amazon chose two areas that have long been considered front-runners, even among the 20 finalists announced on Jan. 18. While Amazon’s request for proposals listed multiple requirements, including tax incentives and a business-friendly environment, in the end the whole reason for the exercise was to aid the Seattle-based company in hiring the best and the brightest talent to keep up its ferocious pace of innovation – even as other tech … [Read more...] about Amazon’s HQ2 will bring 25,000 jobs each to New York City and Northern Virginia