ACLU files face recognition lawsuit
04 November 2019 16:29 GMT

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit challenging the secrecy shrouding federal law enforcement use of face recognition surveillance technology against the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the FBI.

“There can be no accountability if there is no transparency,” said Kade Crockford, Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. “The public has a right to know when, where, and how law enforcement agencies are using face recognition technology, and what safeguards, if any, are in place to protect our rights. This dystopian surveillance technology threatens to fundamentally alter our free society into one where we’re treated as suspects to be tracked and monitored by the government 24/7.”

The ACLU in January filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI and DEA seeking records related to the agencies’ use of face and other biometric surveillance technologies. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the request, but failed to produce any responsive documents.