Why is this important?
Police shouldn’t be allowed to use ODIN facial recognition — an app designed to profile homeless people — to target and arrest unhoused people. Facial recognition tech is known to be biased and faulty and it’s not needed to help homeless people find food, shelter, and mental health support. Tell your Mayor to stop using ODIN Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and all facial recognition tech.
Police are starting to use a new facial recognition app specifically designed to profile unhoused people. ODIN Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) links police to private information (like date of birth and arrest history) and claims to be helping unhoused people without doing anything useful to change their circumstances.¹
The app will not help solve homelessness. It will only supercharge police ability to arrest and incarcerate more homeless people.
Sign the petition to telling your mayor to stop police use of the ODIN app, and all facial recognition tech.
ODIN facial recognition was created in partnership with police to address issues they frame as being caused by homeless people like the “degradation of a city’s culture” and "reduction of property values.”²
Police already target, harass, and arrest unhoused people. They don’t need facial recognition tech to help them do it more.
And it doesn’t even work. Facial recognition tech has been shown to misidentify Black, brown, non-binary, and trans people.³ Half of all homeless families with children are Black families.⁴ The ODIN app will facilitate more harassment and arrests of communities that are already overly policed.
A tailored facial recognition tool that police can use “to identify even nonverbal or intoxicated individuals,” won’t hook people up with needed health services or temporary housing.
Economic insecurity, systemic racism, and lack of affordable housing are just some of the major factors that make homelessness a widespread social issue.
Any public funding should help individuals and families stay in their homes or get into affordable housing; this is what advocates are asking for as a solution to homelessness. More arrests and incarcerations are not a solution — and the ODIN app will only lead to more of that.
Take action now. Sign the petition telling your mayor: Ban ODIN and all police facial recognition tech.
- “Tech Firm Offers Cops Facial Recognition to ID Homeless People,” VICE, Motherboard, Feb. 8, 2022
- ODIN Intelligence
- “Facial recognition has always troubled people of color. Everyone should listen,” CNet, June 12, 2020.
- “Homelessness and Racial Disparities,” National Alliance to End Homelessness.