July 31, 2018

Wyden, Nadler, Coons, Markey, Booker Ask GAO to Study Commercial and Government Use of Facial Recognition

Washington, D.C. –Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., with Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., today asked the Government Accountability Office to study both commercial and government use of facial recognition to determine the potential market, uses, and possible abuses of the technology.

“Given the recent advances in commercial facial recognition technology — and its expanded use by state, local, and federal law enforcement, particularly the FBI and Immigration and Customs and Enforcement — we ask that you investigate and evaluate the facial recognition industry and its government use,” the members wrote.

Wyden, Nadler, Coons, Markey and Booker also asked the GAO to examine what safeguards privacy companies and law-enforcement agencies have in place to prevent misuse of facial recognition technology, including targeting people based on race, gender, or age.

“These technologies raise serious concerns about individual privacy rights and the disparate treatment of minority and immigrant communities within the United States,” the members wrote.

Read the full letter here.