Today: Apr 17, 2024

GAO warns on facial recognition use in federal law enforcement.

1 month ago


Key points:

  • GAO expresses concerns about federal law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology
  • Training for employees using the technology is lacking

Facial recognition technology used by federal law enforcement agencies has raised concerns about potential errors in identifying individuals, according to the GAO. The lack of training for employees using this technology was highlighted during a hearing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The GAO report indicated that agencies initially implemented facial recognition technology without providing staff with adequate training on how it works and how to interpret results. Concerns were also raised about the impact on civil rights, potential misidentification of innocent individuals, and the chilling effect on First Amendment rights.

The technology is utilized for purposes such as criminal investigations, security operations, and traveler verification. However, agencies vary in tracking the number of searches conducted, making it difficult to determine the extent of its use. Some agencies have addressed privacy requirements while others have not fully met these standards, according to the GAO’s review.