Facial Recognition Tech: 4 Things You Must Know

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Updated June 18

On May 22 and June 4, Congress held hearings on facial recognition technology. The Congressional hearings examine the use of facial recognition technology by federal, state, and local government agencies, corporations and social media companies. Specifically, lawmakers address privacy and civil rights concerns.

Facial Recognition Tech: 4 Things You Must Know

Image of photo which is enhanced by artificial intelligence, of Olivia P. Walker used as featured image for OWB Public Affairs Article titled '4 things you must know about facial recognition technology' article. Photo also used for Olivia P Walker Affairs Youtube video Image
Click here to watch the Hearing on C-SPAN
  1. Facial recognition technology programs cannot accurately identify people of color and women.
  2. Facial recognition technology is not regulated by government.
  3. Law enforcement agencies and corporations use facial recognition technology without our consent.
  4. Facial recognition technology contributes to employment discrimination — against people over the age of 40, women and minorities — and to disparities in health insurance premiums.

All information provided is verifiable, for example: the videos and resources provided (and the sources cited in the resources provided) confirm all statements.

Facial Recognition Technology Resources

  1. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Joy Buolamwini, Founder, Algorithmic Justice League]
  2. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Professor Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law]
  3. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Dr. Cedric Alexander, Former President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives]
  4. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties Ms. Clare Garvie , Senior Associate, Georgetown University Law Center, Center on Privacy & Technology]
  5. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Ms. Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union]

Video Resources: Facial Recognition Tech

  1. Watch Video: [ by United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) Its Impact on our Civil rights and Liberties on YouTube]
  2. Watch Video on C-SPAN: [The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing to examine the use of facial recognition technology (Part 2) by the government and commercial entities and its impact on civil rights and liberties. Witnesses discussed the flaws in the technology, including programs that could not accurately identify people of color and women. Other concerns raised were the lack of regulation and oversight in the technology, how law enforcement is using facial recognition, fears of racial profiling, and the privacy issues surrounding Facebook, Uber, and Amazon’s use of the technology]

About the Author

Olivia P. Walker is an award winning public affairs and administration professional. She launched O.W.B Public Affairs and writes all site content. She previously consulted for the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering and served as government affairs and public policy analyst at WellCare Health Plans.  Olivia is a fusion belly dancer and a member of the American Society for Public Affairs and Administration’s section on public law and administration.

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