John Oliver Wants to ‘Burn’ Facial Recognition Technology Down – Especially Amid Black Lives Matter Protests (Video)

HBO host sees “a host of privacy and civil liberty issues” coming

Last Updated: June 15, 2020 @ 7:13 AM

John Oliver does not recognize much good coming out of the facial recognition technology boom.

“The growth of facial recognition — and what it’s capable of — brings with it a host of privacy and civil liberty issues,” the HBO host and alum of Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” said on Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” episode.

That sentiment applies even more during the current wave of Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd’s death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Oliver’s concern is that law enforcement agencies could run facial recognition software on photos and videos from such demonstrations to identify and target protestors — especially those with outstanding warrants.

It wouldn’t be the first time that happened, Oliver said last night — including the part where the tech was used on Black Lives Matter marchers.

“Burn it all down,” Oliver strongly suggested of the software. “Burn everything down.”

Making matters even more concerning, the current wave of facial recognition tech isn’t exactly error-proof — especially when attempting to identify women or people of color. That fact feels extra problematic these days.

We’ll let Oliver walk you through the details.

Watch the video above.

Oliver’s weekly late-night series “Last Week Tonight” airs Sundays starting at 11 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.