As facial recognition technologies have evolved from fledgling projects into powerful software platforms, researchers and civil liberties advocates have been issuing warnings about the potential for privacy erosions. Those mounting fears came to a head Wednesday in Congress.
Alarms over facial recognition had already gained urgency in recent years, as studies have shown that the systems still produce relatively high rates of false positives, and consistently contain racial and gender biases. Yet the technology has proliferated unchecked in the US, spreading among law enforcement agencies at every level of government, as well as among private employers and schools. At a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the lack of regulation garnered bipartisan concern.
“Fifty million cameras [used for surveillance in the US]. A violation of people’s First Amendment, Fourth Amendment liberties, due process liberties. All kinds of mistakes. Those mistakes [...]