Senators search limits on some facial recognition use by police | Native Information

The senators are targeting a powerful facial recognition tool and law enforcement acquisition of personal information in a landmark law passed Wednesday with bilateral support that highlights the growing debate over surveillance technologies used by federal investigators and local police .

The legislation, known as the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act, would prohibit the US government and law enforcement agencies from purchasing location data and other personal information without a warrant. It was written by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., And Rand Paul, R-Ky. Introduced.

It would also block the purchase of data “illegally” obtained through deception, hacking, or breach of contract. That provision would ban the police use of Clearview AI, one of the most popular facial recognition programs, by thousands of police officers across the country, according to Congressional aides. The facial recognition company has retrieved billions of photos from social media and other websites such as Facebook, Google and Twitter that the company has accused of breaking its rules of “scraping” personal information.

The bill is one of Congress’s most ambitious attempts to regulate technology that government officials have increasingly turned to without judicial approval or public oversight.

Government defenders of the technology say they provide groundbreaking intelligence in the prosecution of suspected criminals. Critics fear, however, that they represent a disturbing range of government power and threaten to expose Americans to an increasingly invasive surveillance regime.

“Doing business online doesn’t mean giving the government permission to track your every move or gun through the most personal details of your life,” Wyden said in a statement. The bill, he added, “ensures that the government cannot use their credit card to end the fourth amendment against unreasonable searches”.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have accessed private databases that have collected and bundled millions of location records obtained from a range of smartphone apps on people’s phones and effectively combined a system designed for online marketers into one system converted to gathering evidence for state investigation.

Obtaining such data from technology and cellular companies traditionally requires a court order. However, the lack of regulation has allowed the police to pay data brokers directly for such information.

Investigators also used Clearview AI to match the faces of suspects caught on camera with images from social media, including the January 6th Capitol riot investigation. Traditional facial recognition systems only compare photos with official photos from driver’s licenses, passports or jails.

Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview AI, said in a statement that the company intends to “carefully examine” the bill, adding, “We look forward to working with policy makers to identify the best ways to protect Find consumer data and continue to be a resource for law enforcement agencies. “Floyd Abrams, an attorney who represents the company, said in a statement,” The fourth amendment does not protect the downloading and analysis of photos that people voluntarily post on the Internet because under these circumstances there can be no reasonable expectation of privacy. “

The Senate bill is co-sponsored by 17 Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, NY, and three Senate Republicans including Paul, Mike Lee, Utah, and Steve Daines, Mont., Has given them confidence in the bill’s chances To become law.

A home version was also unveiled on Wednesday by Justice Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., and Home Management Committee Chairman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.,. They said in a statement, “Our digital data opens a window into the most sensitive areas and our law would be an important step forward to curb the abuse of surveillance and protect Americans’ civil liberties. “

The proposal, a Wyden aide said, would fill several other surveillance loopholes uncovered after the Edward Snowden leaks, including one that allows intelligence officials to obtain metadata about calls and emails from Americans abroad without judicial approval.

The bill has broad support from civil rights and privacy groups, which have criticized the expansion of surveillance technologies that they say pose a threat to civil rights.

Susan Ariel Aaronson, director of the digital commerce and data management hub at George Washington University, said the bill was a “good start,” but did not fully address how much personal information about Americans was being collected by largely unregulated companies for commercial purposes and have been analyzed using.

“It was disgusting to see local US authorities and intelligence agencies abusing and buying records to spy on us,” said Aaronson. “But that doesn’t lead to the real problem, namely that the data market is so opaque and we don’t protect people properly. . . . They abuse our data to monitor and manipulate us. That’s the bigger problem, and I feel like we’re just dancing around it. “

The bill is part of a multitude of proposals aimed at strengthening Americans’ digital privacy rights. A separate proposal, first published this month by the Washington Post, would prohibit the sale of Americans’ personal information to a selection of foreign companies and government agencies that were found to be “unfriendly” by a US government review. Another bill would restrict how US companies collect and share Americans’ personal information.

It’s also taking place amid global billing for artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies that have taken hold in everyday life.

A proposal by the European Union’s executive branch on Wednesday promised to ban the use of “high risk” AI, such as automated “social scoring” systems as in China and indiscriminate mass surveillance. An adviser to Wyden said the senator’s office is closely following these discussions but has not achieved any significant preservation with EU regulators.

The Biden administration has been increasingly challenged to tackle the potential harms of AI software like facial recognition, cited in three reported cases of police misidentification and wrongful arrest involving all black men.

A Federal Trade Commission attorney wrote Monday that federal laws prohibiting unfair and misleading business practices also apply to developers of “racially biased algorithms” and other problematic systems, noting that supposedly “neutral” technologies still have “problematic results.” can deliver.

Aaronson said she found the timing of the proposed regulation ironic, given the government’s broader role in exploiting large datasets on the general public. She referred to a note in a document released last month by the National Intelligence Council outlining potential global trends over the next two decades: “Privacy and anonymity can effectively disappear through election or government mandate, like all aspects of personal and professional life tracked by global networks. “

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