GAO criticizes reckless use of facial recognition technology

GAO criticizes reckless use of facial recognition technology

5. July 2021 0 By Horst Buchwald

GAO criticizes reckless use of facial recognition technology

New York, 7/5/2021

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the  government for a lack of accountability in its use of facial recognition technology in a new report. The GAO surveyed 42 federal agencies and made recommendations for the future use of facial recognition.

https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-21-518

Facial recognition is a type of biometric security, like voice, fingerprint or eye recognition. It is used primarily for security and law enforcement purposes and is said to be 97% accurate.

The report identifies 20 agencies that have deployed facial recognition technologies, including 14 that have used technology from private companies such as Clearview AI and Amazon. Only one agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “implemented a mechanism to track which non-federal systems are used by employees.” The other 13 have no mechanisms in place to minimize the risks that AI could be misused, the report said.

One unnamed agency told GAO that it did not use facial recognition technology built by private companies, but the agency later found that its employees had run facial recognition queries more than 1,000 times.

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