WARD SERIOUSLY QUESTIONS GOVERNOR WHY HE WANTS FACIAL RECOGNITION CAMERAS TO BE INSTALLED AT HAWAII'S AIRPORTS BY JULY 31, 2020
Big Brother coming soon to DKI Honolulu Int'l Airport
News Release from Office of Rep Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai) June 29, 2020
A frustrated Representative Gene Ward (R-17 Hawaii Kai – Kalama Valley) today sent a letter to Governor Ige and the Department of Transportation – Airports Division questioning why the State is installing facial recognition cameras at Hawaii's airports.
"If this is for temperature taking only – there is no need to record a person's face, we don't want Big Brother helping us out at our airports," Ward said.
In his letter he describes the RFP, which states that vendors will install 'thermal screening cameras and facial recognition tracking cameras,' to track individuals who may be infected with COVID-19.
"Public safety is of the utmost importance during these unprecedented times," Ward continued. "However, we must prevent the slow creep of Big Brother invading our way of life. I am not confident that the use of this big government technology will be helpful to stop the spread of the virus and help us to reopen our visitor industry safely."
The House Judiciary Committee will hear SB 2185, which will codify the use of facial recognition for the purposes of tracking individuals who may be infected with COVID-19. Last Friday, the Legislature passed SB 126, which appropriated $90 million for "Airport Screening and Health Assurance Security Initiatives." One of the top bidders for the RFP, Sydney-based iOmniscient, has touted the Chinese Army as one if its top clients, and Huawei as one of its "partners."