Facial Recognition

40 Privacy Groups Ask Federal Oversight Agency To Push for Suspension of Federal Facial Recognition Technology

40 privacy advocacy groups send open letter to agency


A coalition of 40 privacy rights groups has sent an open letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), requesting that the agency recommend a suspension of all federal use of facial recognition technology.

The PCLOB was set up as an independent federal agency in 2007 to review executive branch anti-terrorism efforts with the goal of making sure that citizens' privacy and civil liberties are protected. The PCLOB can also review proposed anti-terrorism legislation, regulations, and policies and advise the president and executive branch agencies on their privacy and civil liberties implications. Advocates are asking the agency to exercise what power it has to recommend against the use of facial recognition technology.

In early December, the Department of Homeland Security initially announced that it was rolling out facial recognition system that would require that all travelers, including U.S. citizens, be photographed upon entry and departure at airports and seaports. Their photos would be matched against a database of passport and visa photos created and maintained by Customs and Border Protection. In response to pushback from civil liberties organizations, the CBP has withdrawn, for the time being, its proposal.

Now in an open letter to the PCLOB, a coalition of 40 privacy and civil liberties activist organizations asks the Board in light of the "rapid deployment of facial recognition systems directed toward Americans within the United States by federal agencies" to "recommend to the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security the suspension of facial recognition systems, pending further review."

Citing the PCLOB's enabling legislation, the letter's signatories are entirely correct when they declare: "The rapid and unregulated deployment of facial recognition poses a direct threat to 'the precious liberties that are vital to our way of life.'"

NEXT: Michael Flynn Wants To Withdraw Guilty Plea, Alleges Prosecutors Threatened To Indict His Son

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  1. When you need a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, it is too late to worry about privacy and civil liberties.

  2. The Board’s mission is to ensure that the federal government’s efforts to prevent terrorism are balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties.​

    There’s nothing in the Constitution about “balancing” the parts of the Constitution that start out “Congress shall make no law…”. If we’re at the point where we’re petitioning the government to at least pretend we’re not their servants, we need to start petitioning much more vigorously and with much sharper sticks.

    1. //If we’re at the point where we’re petitioning the government to at least pretend we’re not their servants, we need to start petitioning much more vigorously and with much sharper sticks.//

      Well said.

  3. I just tell the airline no when departing and they check my passport all pissed off.

    Then I tell the Immigration official no when they want to scan my face returning to the USA. They manually check my passport and that’s it.

    1. And as they manually check your passport, they are updating the database – – – – – – – –

      There will come a time when they let you out, but not back in.

      1. I am clearly on the government shit list but not on the no fly list.

        They used to pull me off for individual screening with wands around my socked feet. All the metal in my body set off their wands, so after a few years they stopped singling me out. Plus I always travel with checked weapons in my luggage. It was hilarious to send those fuckers scrabbling.

        Now they just wave me thru like everyone else.

  4. I am making a good MONEY (500$ to 700$ / hr )online on my Ipad .Do not go to office.I do not claim to be others,I yoy will call yourself after doing this JOB,It’s a REAL job.Will be very lucky to refer to this …. Read more  

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