ICE Seeks to Expand Use of Facial Recognition
According to the Statement of Work, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is seeking to connect the agency’s facial recognition system to the DHS Gang Intelligence Application database. ICE recently solicited contracts to overhaul the agency’s interface with the Gang Intelligence Application database to establish a face template for all photos added to the database. EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking details of ICE’s use of Clearview AI’s facial recognition technology. The secretive tech company scraped billions of facial images from Internet websites. EPIC and more than a hundred organizations have called for a moratorium on facial recognition technology.
EPIC, Coalition Urge Governments to Respect Human Rights as They Respond to Pandemic
EPIC joined civil society groups from around the world to urge governments to respect human rights as they consider digital technologies to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The coalition warned that “efforts to contain the virus must not be used as a cover to usher in a new era of greatly expanded systems of invasive digital surveillance.” The civil society groups insisted that governments not implement surveillance measures unless lawful, time-limited, only for the specific purpose of combating the pandemic, and the data collected is absolutely necessary. EPIC recently joined 131 other organizations in a public statement supporting public access to information as the U.S. responds to the coronavirus pandemic. EPIC is pursuing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice seeking DOJ legal analysis about the collection of GPS and cell phone location data.
EPIC Releases Updated Report on Privacy Bills in Congress
EPIC has released an updated report on the privacy bills in Congress. EPIC’s report – Grading on a Curve: Privacy Legislation in the 116th Congress – reviews recent developments, sets out a model bill, and assesses pending legislation. According to EPIC, Representative Eshoo and Lofgren’s Online Privacy Act ranks #1. The bill would establish a data protection agency, create meaningful privacy safeguards, and hold companies accountable for the collection and use of personal data. Senator Gillibrand’s Data Protection Act, S. 3300, solves one critical privacy problem very well by creating an independent Data Protection Agency in the United States. The US is one of the few democratic countries in the world without a federal data protection agency. The updated EPIC report also scores Senator Moran and Senator Wicker’s privacy proposals.