Congress introduces bill to ban feds from using facial recognition

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A group of lawmakers introduced legislation to prohibit the federal government from using facial recognition and other biometric technologies.

Several civil society organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have endorsed the bill, which would prohibit federal agencies from using facial recognition and other biometric technologies, such as voice recognition or face-scanning surveillance technology. It would also prohibit the use of federal funds for biometric surveillance systems.

The draft Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2023 would prohibit any federal entity from using voice and gait recognition technologies, which can be used to identify people based on how they walk or run. However, the bill does not prohibit agencies from using fingerprints or palm prints.

The document reads “Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be unlawful for any Federal agency or Federal official, in an official capacity, to acquire, possess, access, or use in the United States— (1) any biometric surveillance system; or
(2) information derived from a biometric sur- veillance system operated by another entity.” It goes on to say that the prohibition does not apply to activities specifically authorized by an Act of Congress.

Furthermore, it proposes that no Federal funds be obligated or expended by a federal law enforcement agency for the purchase or use of a biometric surveillance system. And that no Federal agency may use unallocated funds appropriated to it for the purchase or use of a biometric surveillance system.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.

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