Checking in with Adam Jackson
Following years of service in the military, Adam Jackson was not finished protecting people. While the majority of his professional experience was not in the technology space, he had a passion to help protect vulnerable individuals, even when he could not personally be there to protect them himself. From this passion came an idea to develop software that would help increase security procedures in places like women’s shelters, schools, and churches. His software used facial recognition to scan faces on security cameras and run them through known offender databases.
Adam created software that was revolutionary in the security space, mostly because it was a means of keeping people safe that was not an alarm system. In fact, it was much more advanced technology than standard security alarms. But the Tennessee Alarm Contractors Board deemed that Adam needed a license to operate and install the software that he created. Obviously, it’s an egregious claim by the Board that Adam would need to be licensed to install security software.
Adam partnered up with the Beacon Center to challenge the Board’s mandate that he had to be licensed, and while we came out victorious in our hearing, the time that it took had a significant impact on the fate of Adam’s business and personal financial situation. While we were challenging the Board, other competitors—including Amazon and Google—got into the facial recognition surveillance space, forcing Adam to get out of the business before he could even get off the ground due to government overregulation.
The takeaway from Adam’s situation is that harmful and burdensome occupational licensing laws—which ended up not even applying to him—kept his innovation out of the game. But Adam’s story doesn’t end there. Even though he had to close his business, he’s an entrepreneur, so he has already started another. This time, he’s helping people keep personal information off the internet, protecting individuals from threats of stalking or having their information stolen. While his passion is in helping vulnerable populations stay safe, he is excited about this new opportunity.
Even more, he’s glad that he was able to take a stand on something that was important to him. “The government took away my ability to make money and limited the free market. They kept us out of business, so I’m thankful that the Beacon Center helped me fight that.”