US committee holds second hearing on facial recognition tech
05 June 2019 17:46 GMT

The House Oversight and Reform Committee held the second part of its hearing on facial recognition and transparency and privacy concerns surrounding the government’s use of the technology on 4 June.

During this hearing, four witnesses from the FBI, Transportation Security Administration and other federal agencies testified about the government’s collection and use of face photos and facial recognition technology, as well as the federal government’s interfacing with state law enforcement.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the committee’s chair, said he would be holding another hearing with the witnesses two months later to further discuss ways personal privacy could be protected. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains one of the largest government facial recognition repositories, that includes approximately 36.4 million photos used by the FBI and state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct facial recognition searches in criminal investigations.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report concluding that the “FBI has limited information on the accuracy of its face recognition technology capabilities.”

The Transportation Security Administration has deployed facial recognition technology in domestic airports in at least three pilot programs, in cooperation with another agency.  However, the accuracy of their systems and the scope of their planned use remains unknown.

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