Wyden, Booker, Markey Question 39 Federal Law-Enforcement Agencies About Facial Recognition Policies

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., today sought details from 39 federal law-enforcement agencies about their use facial recognition technology, and what policies, if any, they have put in place to prevent abuse and misuse.

 

“As [facial recognition] technologies have increased in availability and accuracy, and decreased in cost, we understand that as a law enforcement tool this technology would appear attractive,” the senators wrote. “However, this technology comes with inherent risks, including the compromising of Americans’ right to privacy, as well as racial and gender bias.  As such, in exercising its oversight role, it is important for Congress to better understand the degree to which federal law enforcement agencies may be employing these new technologies.”

Read the full letter here

 

Wyden, Booker and Markey asked for answers to the following questions:

 

  1. Does your agency use, or has it used, any type image matching software capable of facial recognition?

a. Please provide as an addendum any relevant guidance your agency may have on the use of this software.

  1. Please describe all circumstance where you use facial recognition, and what you hope to accomplish.
  2. Please identify the databases that you run facial recognition searches against (e.g. mugshots from the FBI's NGI-IPS database, passport photos, and Florida drivers' licenses).
  3. Do you conduct audits to determine the accuracy of facial recognition technology, if you use it? If so, please specify if those audits assess whether search results are biased on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, or age. Please also provide the results of all audits.
  4. Do you contract out to, or request assistance from, any entity regarding facial recognition? Which entities or agencies?
  1. Please provide any relevant guidelines or memoranda outlining this relationship, including any audits or analysis you have undertaken to verify the use of facial recognition.
  1. If you have purchased the use of facial recognition technology, please list the companies you have purchased this technology from.
  2. Do you permit other federal, state, or local agencies to use your facial recognition capabilities? Which agencies?
  1. Please provide any relevant policies or memoranda of understanding related to this.
  1. Do you use facial recognition in public places or from photos obtained from public places?
  2. Do you use facial recognition in real-time, or in any other configuration in which the system attempts to identify every individual captured in a live or recorded video?
  3. Does your agency plan to use any type of image matching software capable of facial recognition in the future?

 

The senators’ request went to all 39 federal law-enforcement agencies, listed by department below:

 

Agriculture

U.S. Forest Service, Law Enforcement and Investigations Organization

Commerce

Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement

Commerce

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Police Services Group

Commerce

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Law Enforcement

Defense

Pentagon Force Protection Agency

Energy

National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of Secure Transportation

Health and Human
Services

National Institutes of Health, Division of Police

Health and Human
Services

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations

Homeland Security

Federal Emergency Management Agency, Security Branch

Homeland Security

U.S. Customs and Border
Protection

Homeland Security

U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement

Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Homeland Security

U.S. Secret Service

Independent

Amtrak Police

Independent

Federal Reserve Board Police

Independent

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Protective Services

Independent

Smithsonian National Zoological Park Police

Independent

Tennessee Valley Authority Police

Independent

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Enforcement

Independent

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Interior

Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services

Interior

Bureau of Land Management, Law Enforcement

Interior

National Park Service, United States Park Police

Interior

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Hoover Dam Police

Interior

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement

Judicial

Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

Judicial

U.S. Supreme Court Police

Justice

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Justice

Drug Enforcement Administration

Justice

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Justice

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Justice

U.S. Marshals Service

Legislative

Library of Congress Police

Legislative

U.S. Capitol Police

Legislative

U.S. Government Printing
Office, Uniformed Police Branch

State

Bureau of Diplomatic Security

Treasury

Bureau of Engraving and Printing Police

Treasury

United States Mint Police

Veterans Affairs

Veterans Health Administration, Office of Security and Law Enforcement

 

 

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