By Steve Neavling
Democrats and Republicans in Congress slammed the FBI’s use of facial recognition software, saying it relies on racial biases, leads to the arrests of innocent people and violates privacy.
NBC reports that more than 400 million pictures of Americans’ faces are archived in various facial recognition networks, representing about half of all U.S. adults.
“I have zero confidence in the FBI and the [Justice Department], frankly, to keep this in check,” Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Massachusetts, said at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Regulation.
“This is really Nazi Germany here, what we’re talking about,” Lynch said. “And I see little difference in the way people are being tracked under this, just getting one wide net and getting information on all American citizens.”
Rep. John Duncan, R-Tennessee, added: “I think we’re reaching a very sad point, a very dangerous point, when we’re doing away with the reasonable expectation of privacy about anything.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said facial recognition software is less accurate at identifying people with dark skin, women and younger people.
“If you’re black, you’re more likely to be subjected to this technology,” said Cummings, who is black. “And the technology is more likely to be wrong. That’s a hell of a combination, especially when you’re talking about subjecting someone to the criminal justice system.”