Racial Recognition

64 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2021

See all articles by Eldar Haber

Eldar Haber

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 27, 2021


Recognition technology is becoming an increasingly important part of criminal law enforcement. With new developments in biometric identification and artificial intelligence, law enforcement agencies are increasingly positioned to identify culprits by algorithmically analyzing physiological and behavioral characteristics, such as faces, voices, or bodily gestures, of suspects and matching them to troves of data from various sources. While promising, the use of recognition technology, and more specifically facial recognition, negatively impacts human rights and liberties. As recognition technology has been systematically proven to be less accurate when identifying some cohorts, including black people, the use of recognition technology raises concerns of misuse and social control over marginalized and over-policed communities, especially black people, within what this Article coins as racial recognition, duplicating and amplifying structural inequities in society.

This Article offers a theoretical and practical analysis of racial recognition. Upon such analysis, it will offer a conceptual blueprint for policymakers on how to optimally regulate its use by criminal law enforcement agents. It begins by providing a general taxonomy of criminal enforcement and technology, focusing on biometrics and recognition technology. Then, the Article introduces and analyzes the rise of racial recognition—how recognition technology and its use by enforcement agents could be embedded with racism. The Article then turns to discuss the current and optimal regulation of racial recognition, while offering viable solutions to this conundrum. Upon concluding that the current legal framework is insufficient in regulating misuse of recognition technology against marginalized and over-policed communities, this Part turns to offer viable solutions for policymakers to properly legalize the use of recognition technology in the near and inevitable future.

Keywords: facial recognition, criminal enforcement, racism, race, recognition technology, over-policing, biometrics, privacy, criminal

JEL Classification: K14, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Haber, Eldar, Racial Recognition (December 27, 2021). Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3994318

Eldar Haber (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905

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