“For example, if a gunman comes into a church and a drone is deployed and puts the gunman down, we can’t just cheer that success,” said Mr. Smith. “We need to examine the video carefully and thoroughly.”
The board members who stepped down said in their statement that the ethics board had warned the company for years against using products that can monitor people in real time.
“This kind of surveillance will undoubtedly be harmful to communities of color and others who are overburdened, and probably much beyond,” they said. “The Taser-equipped drone also has no realistic chance of solving the mass shooting problem that Axon is now prescribing it, and only distracting society from real solutions to a tragic problem.”
One of the board members who resigned, Barry Friedman, the director of the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law, said in an interview that he was pleased that Axon was abandoning its plans for the drone project, and that he hoped the company would that would. let it go completely.
“I think it’s very important that we find a way to curb the adoption of technologies, which often happens with very little concern for damage to privacy, damage to racial justice or concerns about how much data the government has about all of us. preserves, and what is accessible to the government,” he said.
One of the board members who decided not to resign, Giles Herdale, said he hoped that by staying on the board he “could try to mitigate the damage caused by developments like this”.
“What we need to do is try to provide perspectives to make them think,” said Mr Herdale, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a London think tank that specializes in security issues.