ACLU

CBP to Expand Mandatory Biometric Border Screening to Americans

CBP to Expand Mandatory Biometric Border Screening to Americans

US Customs and Border Protection plans to further extend biometric screening to US citizens. The border agency has published a request for a rule change that would make this practice mandatory not only for foreign nationals but for Americans as well, as part of a larger biometric entry-exit system. Such biometric screening will most likely…

Portland, ME, Considering Citywide Facial Recognition Ban

Portland, ME, Considering Citywide Facial Recognition Ban

In a debate taking place this week, Portland, Maine, City Council is considering joining the growing list of U.S. cities that have banned the use of facial recognition technology. The only place in Portland currently known to be using the technology is the Portland Jetport, where it is used by the airlines JetBlue and Delta,…

Bipartisan Bill Would Limit Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Bipartisan Bill Would Limit Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

A pair of senators from both sides of the political aisle have tabled a new bill that would place restrictions on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies. The Facial Recognition Technology Warrant Act — sponsored by Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) — would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant and…

ACLU Sues FBI, DOJ, and DEA Over Facial Recognition Documents

ACLU Sues FBI, DOJ, and DEA Over Facial Recognition Documents

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration in an effort to compel the agencies to hand over information about their use of facial recognition technology. The information was first requested in a Freedom of Information Act filing submitted in January of this…

CBP Request for Information Points to Face Scanning Body Cams at the Border

CBP Request for Information Points to Face Scanning Body Cams at the Border

Biometrics News – Facial Recognition Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a branch of The Department of Homeland Security, have filed a Request for Information to vendors seeking information and/or recommendations on biometric identity verification and body worn cameras. According to the RFI, the aim is to outfit Border Patrol agents with body cameras with the…

85 Advocacy Groups Call On Big Tech to Stop Selling Facial Recognition to Gov’t

85 Advocacy Groups Call On Big Tech to Stop Selling Facial Recognition to Gov’t

“By targeting three of the world’s biggest tech companies, the letters could help to focus attention on the issue.” A coalition of 85 advocacy and activist groups have signed open letters urging Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to pledge not to sell facial recognition technology to government authorities. Signatories include the American Civil Liberties Union, the…

Amazon Patent Brings Biometric Surveillance to Your Front Door

Amazon Patent Brings Biometric Surveillance to Your Front Door

A newly published patent application from Amazon outlines a smart doorbell designed to use facial recognition for a kind of technologically-enhanced neighborhood watch. The essential idea is to let users add suspicious individuals to a watch list, which is shared by a given community network based on connected houses using the biometric doorbell system. When…

Secret Service Trialing Facial Recognition Security Around White House

Secret Service Trialing Facial Recognition Security Around White House

The US Secret Service (USSS) has started testing facial recognition security around the White House, scanning passersby via CCTV feeds. For now, the trial relies upon USSS volunteers, whose faces are added to a watch list, and then automatically identified by the facial recognition system. But the ultimate aim is to scan passersby in the…

ACLU Uses Amazon’s Rekognition to Match Members of Congress with Mugshots

ACLU Uses Amazon’s Rekognition to Match Members of Congress with Mugshots

“…in responding the ACLU’s latest volley, a spokesperson emphasized that Rekognition is used to aid human review, and not to definitively link one facial image to another” The ACLU has turned Amazon’s facial recognition technology against the company itself in a damning new demonstration highlighting the technology’s flaws. The civil rights organization says that it…

Police Use Controversial Biometric Tech to Identify Capital Gazette Shooter

Police Use Controversial Biometric Tech to Identify Capital Gazette Shooter

Police authorities used facial recognition to identify the suspect in last week’s shooting at the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis, Maryland, in which five people were killed. At the time of his arrest, the suspect, Jarrod Ramos, was not carrying identification, and police were unable to identify him through his fingerprint. So they turned to…

Microsoft Reduces Biometric Bias (But Won’t Say How Much)

Microsoft Reduces Biometric Bias (But Won’t Say How Much)

Microsoft’s face scanning technology is now better able to determine the genders of subjects with darker skin tones, the company has announced. In a post on its AI Blog, Microsoft explained that it had reduced its system’s error rates by “up to 20 times,” and specified that for women the error rates had been reduced…

‘Our Company Should Not Be In the Surveillance Business’: Amazon Employees

‘Our Company Should Not Be In the Surveillance Business’: Amazon Employees

Amazon’s own employees have now joined the chorus of voices calling for the company to halt its sale of biometric surveillance technology to law enforcement and other government agencies. Their demand has surfaced in an open letter to Jeff Bezos with an undisclosed number of signatories. The letter has arrived immediately after another open letter,…

ACLU Criticism of Amazon Facial Recognition Pays Dividends

ACLU Criticism of Amazon Facial Recognition Pays Dividends

Just a month after the ACLU made Amazon’s sale of facial recognition technology to government authorities a matter of public debate, a group of prominent Amazon shareholders are calling on the company to halt such business activities, at least until the proper oversight is put in place. The controversy concerns Rekognition, Amazon’s machine vision solution,…

ACLU’s Attack on Amazon Surveillance Tech Misses Bigger Issue: ITIF

ACLU’s Attack on Amazon Surveillance Tech Misses Bigger Issue: ITIF

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is pushing back against the ACLU’s efforts to get Amazon to stop selling its facial recognition technology to government organizations. The outcry began about a week ago, when the ACLU published information concerning multiple police agencies’ use of Rekognition, a machine learning, computer vision system that runs on Amazon…

ACLU Urges Amazon to Stop Selling Surveillance Tech to Gov’t

ACLU Urges Amazon to Stop Selling Surveillance Tech to Gov’t

The American Civil Liberties Union is urging Amazon to stop selling its facial recognition system to government authorities, warning that it threatens privacy and civil liberties and empowers a growing surveillance state. The system, Rekognition, was first announced toward the end of 2016, and is available through Amazon Web Services. Based on machine learning technology,…

ACLU Fears Mission Creep, Racial Prejudice in Biometric Airport Screening

ACLU Fears Mission Creep, Racial Prejudice in Biometric Airport Screening

The American Civil Liberties Union is laying out its objections to the US government’s increasing use of facial recognition at airports in a new blog post by policy analyst Jay Stanley. Titled “What’s Wrong With Airport Face Recognition”, the post comes in the wake of the Department of Homeland Security’s discussion last week with privacy…

Vermont DMV Has Been Performing Illegal Biometric Searches for Police: ACLU

Vermont DMV Has Been Performing Illegal Biometric Searches for Police: ACLU

Vermont’s DMV has been using facial recognition technology to search through its database of driver license holders at the behest of police authorities at all levels of government, says the ACLU. The civil liberties organization says it discovered the practice through internal DMV documents it was able to obtain, and is now calling for its…