There are a few appropriate uses for facial recognition technology in the hands of law enforcement. These instances should be exceedingly rare, like tracking down a confirmed terrorist or locating an armed and dangerous suspect in the middle of a crowd. Beyond extreme emergency scenarios, facial recognition technology should not be used.
Unfortunately, it’s being used by a ton of people at nearly two dozen government agencies for a multitude of reasons with absolutely zero oversight, minimal tracking of use, and effectively no rules detailing when and how it is to be applied. It’s clear we have a huge problem when mundane agencies like the IRS, FDA, and USPS employ facial recognition technology. When was the last time a Food and Drug Administration agent went hunting for terrorists?
Considering the IRS seems poised to become part of the police state, this is especially troubling.
The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report on facial recognition usage is both startling and infuriating. It shows a combination of incompetence and abuse that make for a very dangerous recipe, especially in the hands of government. There is basically no oversight. The agencies using it can’t keep their stories straight about how they use it or even which companies they employ to service the equipment. It’s all completely opaque and nobody in Congress seems to care.
Facial recognition technology poses the obvious privacy issues. But it’s worse than that. In the hands of law enforcement it can be a very useful tool under very specific circumstances, but overuse has been shown to have a detrimental effect on cases. There are false-positives to contend with as well as an inherent laziness that drives law enforcement officers to rely on flawed technology instead of tried and true investigative techniques.
All of the details are spelled out in this article from Reclaim the Net:
US Government Agencies Are Using Facial Recognition Tech With Almost No Oversight
The federal oversight agency Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report on the use of facial recognition by government agencies. The main revelation in the report is that there is little internal oversight on the use of the technology.
There’s no denying that facial recognition technology is useful for criminal investigations. However, the technology is not perfect as it has a tendency for false positives and the implication can be sending law enforcement officers after the wrong person. It’s also generally invasive and promotes a surveillance state.
Private companies providing the tech, such as Clearview, have only made the reputation of facial recognition worse.
It came as no surprise to learn that intelligence and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, TSA, and Homeland own or use facial recognition tech. According to the report, 20 agencies use the technology, including some that you wouldn’t expect, such as the IRS, FDA, and US Postal Service.
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Perhaps more concerning is the agencies’ use of Clearview, a private company that’s been proven to be dishonest and has been investigated and sued in the recent past. Half of the agencies have contracts or have used Clearview’s technology, making the controversial company the most popular third-party facial recognition provider.
The report states that these agencies use “state, local, and non-government systems to support criminal investigations.” However, the agencies are not aware what non-government systems their employees use.
“Thirteen federal agencies do not have awareness of what non-federal systems with facial recognition technology are used by employees. These agencies have therefore not fully assessed the potential risks of using these systems, such as risks related to privacy and accuracy. Most federal agencies that reported using non-federal systems did not own systems. Thus, employees were relying on systems owned by other entities, including non-federal entities, to support their operations.”
Some agencies were not even aware how often their employees use this technology, and had to conduct polls to find out. Depending on data that relies on honest self-reporting is not the best idea.
One of the agencies initially told GAO that it does not use non-federal systems. However, “after conducting a poll, the agency learned that its employees had used a non-federal system to conduct more than 1,000 facial recognition searches.
The careless use of an inaccurate technology by these agencies is also potentially a violation of the law and could result in the public learning about ongoing investigations.
“When agencies use facial recognition technology without first assessing the privacy implications and applicability of privacy requirements, there is a risk that they will not adhere to privacy-related laws, regulations, and policies. There is also a risk that non-federal system owners will share sensitive information (e.g. photo of a suspect) about an ongoing investigation with the public or others.”
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
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Thank you and God Bless,
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
For us to continue to deliver the truth that Americans need to read and hear, we ask you, our amazing audience, for financial assistance. We have a Giving Fuel page to help us pay the bills. It’s brand new so don’t be discouraged by the lack of donations there. It’s a funny reality that the fewer the donations that have been made, the less likely people are willing to donate to it. One would think this is counterintuitive, but sometimes people are skeptical because they think that perhaps there’s a reason others haven’t been donating. In our situation, we’re just getting started so please don’t be shy if you have the means to help.
Thank you and God bless!
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