The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the United States government over its use of facial recognition technology at airports across the country.
The lawsuit was filed under the Freedom of Information Act and asks a federal court to demand records related to the expanding use of facial recognition at airports and border crossings across the country from a number of government agencies.
The agencies targeted in the lawsuit are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Attorneys for the ACLU warned in their filing with the court that the technology “can enable undetectable, persistent government surveillance on a massive scale”, poses “grave risks to society,” and therefore raises “profound civil-liberties concerns.”
The growth in the use of facial recognition systems in airports to identify and verify the identities of travellers — and for baggage check in some cases — has grown steadily over the past year, with such technologies currently deployed at more than 20 airports.
In February, the CBP added facial recognition systems to a pedestrian border crossing in Brownsville, Texas, making it one of several similar systems on the Mexican border.
This past December, the DHS abandoned a proposal requiring all U.S. citizens to submit to a face scan upon entering or exiting the country.
March 16, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis