After an audit found that the Port Authority was nearly $2 billion overbudget, the New York Post went digging and discovered that the PA has elaborate, high-tech security plans for protecting the redesigned World Trade Center site. Maybe that’s where all the money is going!
The security plan calls for several different kinds of fancy-schmancy cameras to be used at the memorial site, including devices that can recognize human faces and retinas and match them to a criminal watch list. Are we the only people getting creepy Minority Report vibes from this? No?
The Port Authority also wants to utilize new kinds of artificial intelligence that can detect when people engage in “suspicious activity” and deploy police officers to those areas. According to the Post the cameras would be trained to notice:
- Someone deviating from the normal walkways or walking against the flow of pedestrians.
- Someone jumping around or making erratic movements.
- Someone dropping a bag where people don’t usually leave their luggage.
The agency would be connected with NYPD’s Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which has already populated Lower Manhattan areas with a plethora of cameras.
The system is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars, and will be installed by a company called Behavioral Recognition Systems from Houston. The company’s president assured the Post that the cameras would not store any personal information (of course not!), and that no monitoring devices would be installed in private areas like restrooms (nope!). No word yet on whether the name of the WTC memorial will be changed to “The Panopticon” in light of this news.