1984: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at gmail.com
Thu Sep 2 23:42:45 PDT 2021

When are you ever going to learn?
You see, it's very simple, you didn't fight back since decades,
so now all us GovCorp are fucking you even more...

Federal Use Of Facial Recognition Technology Expanding: GAO Report


A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) survey shows that at
least 10 federal agencies have plans to expand their use of facial
recognition technology over the next two years—a prospect that alarms
privacy advocates who worry about a lack of oversight.

The GAO released the results of a survey of 24 federal agencies,
finding that 18 of them use facial recognition technology. Fourteen of
those agencies use the tech for routine activity, such as unlocking
agency-issued smartphones, while six reported using facial recognition
software for criminal investigations and five others use the
technology for surveillance, the Aug. 24 report found.

“For example, [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] reported
that it used an FRT system (AnyVision) to monitor its facilities by
searching live camera feeds in real-time for individuals on watchlists
or suspected of criminal activity, which reduces the need for security
guards to memorize these individuals’ faces,” the GAO said. “This
system automatically alerts personnel when an individual on a
watchlist is present.”

According to the GAO, at least 10 government agencies plan to expand
their use of facial recognition technology through 2023. To do so,
many agencies are turning to the private sector.

For example, “[the] U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations
reported it began an operational pilot using Clearview AI in June
2020, which supports the agency’s counterterrorism,
counterintelligence, and criminal investigations,” the GAO said.

“The agency reported it already collects facial images with mobile
devices to search national databases and plans to enhance searches by
accessing Clearview AI’s large repository of facial images from open
sources to search for matches.”

The GAO’s Aug. 24 report follows June research that focused
specifically on law enforcement’s use of facial recognition
technology. The GAO’s June report revealed the vast troves of data
held by federal law enforcement, including 836 million images held by
the Department of Homeland Security alone.

The June report also revealed the lack of oversight regarding facial
recognition technology. According to the report, 13 of the 20 federal
law enforcement agencies that use the technology didn’t know what
systems they use.

“For example, when we requested information from one of the agencies
about its use of non-federal systems, agency officials told us they
had to poll field division personnel because the information was not
maintained by the agency,” the report said.

“These agency officials also told us that the field division personnel
had to work from their memory about their past use of non-federal
systems and that they could not ensure we were provided comprehensive
information about the agency’s use of non-federal systems.”

The lack of oversight of the government’s use of surveillance
technology is an issue that has drawn the attention of lawmakers from
both sides of the aisle. Democrats have largely focused on the racial
disparities in the accuracy of facial recognition, while some
Republicans have expressed concerns about domestic surveillance.

Michigan resident Robert Williams, a Black man who was wrongly
arrested in January after Detroit police incorrectly identified him as
a felon based on shoddy facial recognition technology, testified about
such problems at a U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing.

“Why is law enforcement even allowed to use such technology when it
obviously doesn’t work?” Williams said to lawmakers July 13. “I get
angry when I hear companies, politicians, and police talk about how
this technology isn’t dangerous or flawed or say that they only use it
as an investigative tool.

“If any of that was true, I wouldn’t have been arrested.”

Williams said he supports the Facial Recognition and Biometric
Technology Moratorium Act, which would halt the use of facial
recognition technology by federal agencies until that use was
authorized by Congress. However, little action has been taken on the
measure—though Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) reintroduced the legislation
in June.

With inaction on the federal level, states and localities have taken
to curbing the use of facial recognition technology.

The state of Washington enacted a law in March 2020 that requires
government agencies to obtain a warrant to run facial recognition
scans. Local jurisdictions such as Oakland, San Francisco, and King
County, Washington, have also banned government use of the technology.

Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) support such
efforts, arguing that the expansion of facial recognition technology
must be halted until lawmakers can enact safeguards.

Others have cautioned against banning useful technology in the zeal to
protect privacy.

“Critics miss the fact that the benefits of law enforcement use of
facial recognition are well-proven—they are used today to help solve
crimes, identify victims, and find witnesses—and most of the concerns
about the technology remain hypothetical,” the Information Technology
& Innovation Foundation, a largely pro-tech industry think tank,

“In fact, critics of the technology almost always make a ‘slippery
slope’ argument about the potential threat of expanding police
surveillance, rather than pointing to specific instances of harm.
Banning the technology now would do more harm than good.”

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