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Technology ACLU sues to reveal the FBI's uses of facial recognition

20:05  31 october  2019
20:05  31 october  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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The ACLU is unsurprisingly concerned about the FBI ' s use of facial recognition , and it wants to force the agency to divulge its practices. The FBI has engaged in "political policing," the ACLU said, including spying on peaceful activists. That raised the potential for abuse against innocent targets.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday sued the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI for records detailing their use of facial - recognition software, arguing that the agencies have secretly implemented a nationwide surveillance technology that threatens

The ACLU is unsurprisingly concerned about the FBI's use of facial recognition, and it wants to force the agency to divulge its practices. It just filed a lawsuit against the FBI, the Justice Department and the DEA ordering them to turn over records showing "when, where and how" they use facial recognition tech. The civil liberties group was concerned that these systems could "fundamentally alter" society and lead to constant surveillance, and pointed to the FBI's history and public stances as reasons to be concerned.

  ACLU sues to reveal the FBI's uses of facial recognition

The FBI has engaged in "political policing," the ACLU said, including spying on peaceful activists. That raised the potential for abuse against innocent targets. The agency also claimed that it didn't need to demonstrate probable cause to use facial recognition, and couldn't confirm if it honored "constitutional obligations" to inform defendants in criminal cases when the tech was involved. And these concerns assume the systems are accurate, which they sometimes aren't -- the ACLU referred to studies showing racial and gender biases in facial recognition.

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Inquiring lawsuits want to know what the DOJ, DEA, & FBI are using the tech for.

The American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) is taking several US government agencies to court claiming they have refused to comply with freedom of information requests related to the transparency of law enforcement usage of facial recognition technology.

This isn't the first time the ACLU has pressed for disclosure. It filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the FBI and DEA in January. Both agencies recognized the requests, but didn't provide any "responsive documents," the ACLU said.

However the agencies respond to the lawsuit, they'll be swept up in a mounting opposition to unfettered use of facial recognition. California and the city of San Francisco recently passed measures banning key government uses of facial recognition, and companies like Facebook have shied away from past uses. There's an increasing sense that the privacy risks are too great to ignore, and that there should be at least some baseline restrictions on when facial recognition comes into play.

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Facebook built a facial recognition app for employees .
The app could identify employees and their friends who had enabled facial recognition, Facebook said.Business Insider, citing anonymous sources, reported that employees developed the facial recognition app between 2015 and 2016. The app was never released to the public and has been discontinued, according to the report. One source told Business Insider that one version of the app could identify anyone on the social network if there was enough data to do so, but Facebook disputed that claim.

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