Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Daily News Can't Wait For The Security State To Replace Unionized Doormen

The Daily News has a propaganda piece cheerleading for technology that will replace doormen while still making sure the riff-raff don't get where they don't belong:

An Israeli general is at work on a “biometric security” system that he believes will have New Yorkers tossing out their keys and maybe ditching their doormen, too.

Using sophisticated scanners that can recognize a person’s face, voice, build and stride, the system can unlock your door in under two seconds. Any strangers not in the database will be denied access. 
“This is only the beginning,” says General Aharon Farkash, the founder and president of the firm FST21. “This is the way people will enter buildings in the 21st century.”

To help establish FST21 in the states, Farkash opened a North American office earlier this month at 7 World Trade Center. Should you drop by, you’ll be greeted by one of its security devices. But unless he’s beamed a code to your phone or you work there already, there’s no convincing the small 8-inch scanner to let you in.


“Cities are crowded, often dangerous places, with the gap between rich and poor growing,” Farkash says. “We need a way to live safely but also comfortably next door to one another.”

For those worried about privacy as well as security, Farkash stresses that the system is self-contained, so it is impossible to hack from outside. It also stores no data of users coming and going beyond two weeks.

“I was the Israeli NSA, so I can tell you I know privacy, and the best effort is being made to keep things private,” Farkash says.

Gee, sounds fabulous.

Except I don't buy that part about keeping things private and anybody who has even scanned an article in the last year about NSA spying shouldn't either - they'll be tracking everywhere you go via this "biometric security" apparatus, the cell phone you carry and the credit cards you use to purchase items.

Such is life in the 21st century.

But besides our privacy and humanity, what else do we lose in the tradeoff when every building starts using "biometric security"?

Why, unionized jobs of course!

For individual homeowners, it offers the convenience — and cool factor — of not having to fumble for the keys anymore, especially with the kids and groceries in hand. For condo and co-op boards, it could mean serious savings.

“It’s much cheaper than a doorman,” Farkash says. “To have 24-seven coverage, that’s four shifts a day, at least $250,000 a year. Our system is 70% less to install, and 90% less to maintain each year after that.”

Oh, goodie - another technological advance that will replace jobs humans do.

On the plus side, when the people who used to have jobs but can no longer find them in our increasingly globalized, technology-laden economy start to steal to eat, the "biometric security" will keep them out of your condo.

On the negative side, you (or I) may be the one the security is looking to keep out.

More plutocratic propaganda from the Daily News masking itself as "journalism".


  1. Will these same scanners help you with packages when your hands are filled or collect packages from UPS or FedEx. Or, if you live in a tony building in Manhattan,hail a cab? Maybe that will work in public housing, but I will fight to keep my doormen.

    1. Yes, I can see this being put in public housing, but hard to see it show up at 75th and Park.

  2. One of the main reasons people opt for doormen buildings is for the reasons mentioned above. A friend of ours opted not to buy a townhouse in Manhattan, rather keep her Madison Avenue abode, because there would be no one to accept packages at the townhouse. Or to grab her parcels as she steps out of the cab at her doorstep.

    Those who have doormen want to keep them.

    1. I agree completely. People pay a premium to have a doorman and tip them accordingly too.

  3. Gee, how will the 21st century doorbotic work if there's a power failure? I think the doorman will be there without fail and no electricity necessary.

  4. People who lived in a building on the Bowery that only had electronic locks had serious issues for the week they went without power after Sandy, that's for sure.