New Beacon Lawsuit Addresses School and Church Safety

April 17, 2018 10:49AM

We recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of former soldier Adam Jackson against the state of Tennessee. The Tennessee Alarm Systems Contractors Board has prohibited Adam from selling or even donating his groundbreaking facial recognition software that could save lives, specifically in schools and churches. The software instantly scans the face of someone using existing security cameras and compares the image against known offender databases. The alarm board has wrongfully determined that this software constitutes an “alarm system,” requiring Jackson to spend five years to obtain a government license before he can sell his product.

Daniel Horwitz, Board member of an interested synagogue who also filed an affidavit, stated: “Given recent events in Charlottesville, school shootings, and a perceived uptick in violence and anti-Semitic hate crimes, we are interested in enhancing our existing security measures in an effort to protect both our members and children on our premises. We urgently await the outcome of the proceeding in the hopes that we will be able to utilize Edge AI’s promising security technology.”

This is another example of a licensing law that hurts everyone. It hurts Adam’s ability to provide for his family. As a returning serviceman, he deserves better from the country he risked his life to protect. Adam’s product also stands to provide peace of mind and protection to anyone with a security concern, including schools, domestic violence shelters, and places of worship. The state is banning a product with the capacity to protect groups that are all too often targeted.

This cutting-edge facial recognition software could make a huge difference in the lives of vulnerable Tennesseans. Technological solutions like Adam’s hold far more promise as an effective response to mass shootings than any restrictions on firearms ever could. This is a novel and effective response to gun violence, especially in schools, where his software has the capacity to screen out potential shooters before they enter the building. The state of Tennessee should be rolling out the red carpet for Adam. Unfortunately, we have a regulatory board more interested in protecting entrenched industries from emergent technology using archaic and poorly fitting regulations than protecting the public.

To read more about Adam Jackson’s case, click here.