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US Lawmakers Urge Regulation Of Facial-Recognition Use

A bipartisan group of lawmakers came out against the use of facial recognition, citing concerns about misidentification and violations of due process and constitutional rights, Bloomberg reported.

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, speaking at a hearing Tuesday (July 13), said the government should be working on oversight and new laws, per Bloomberg. That sentiment was also echoed by Rep. Andy Biggs.

“If we’re talking about finding some kind of meaningful regulation and oversight of facial recognition, which is what I think the chair is alluding to, then I think we can find a lot of common ground here,” he said, according to Bloomberg.

One witness at the Tuesday hearing, Robert Williams, said he had been the victim of misidentification by facial recognition, which led to him being wrongfully arrested by police in Detroit, Bloomberg reported. Additionally, numerous studies have shown the potential for the technology to be especially detrimental toward minorities.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found in a report that around 50 percent of the 42 agencies surveyed made use of the facial recognition systems, with some of them like Customs & Border Protection using their own in-house versions, and others taking the technology from companies like Clearview AI or Vigilant Solutions, according to Bloomberg.

In separate news, Disney tested facial recognition in March and April at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida. Guests of the theme park didn’t have to take off face masks during that period, but they did have to remove sunglasses or hats.

The security measures were purported to be used by Disney to help ensure that only authorized guests entered the park. The company said it would throw out all digital images and other data within 30 days of the test.

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