Republicans and Democrats concerned about facial recognition technology


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Republicans and Democrats agree: Law enforcement must be careful when using facial recognition technology.

“We need to ensure that the adoption of this new technology that does not further erode trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said.

Nadler says it’s clear why law enforcement is embracing the technology, but there are problems.

“Most Americans have little understanding of how the police use facial recognition technology (FRT) to conduct surveillance of communities across the country,” Nadler said.

“Most don’t even know which systems their employees are using,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said.

Jordan says many federal law enforcement agencies are not fully considering the legal implications.

“There are serious first amendment, fourth amendment concerns about the use of FRT by law enforcement,” Jordan said.

Lawmakers are now considering some rules and regulations to keep facial recognition technology in check.

“To enshrine in law, ways and restrictions on law enforcement use of the technology to make sure it’s used, only in good ways,” Netchoice Vice President Carl Szabo said.

Szabo says law enforcement should only use facial recognition technology as part of a larger investigation process.

“There are privacy harms,” NYU Law professor Barry Friedman said.

Friedman says the right regulations and human oversight can prevent much of the potential harm.

“To make sure we eliminate concerns about accuracy and demographics, particularly racial bias,” Friedman said.

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