U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, officers take biometric photos of passengers prior to boarding a flight at Houston International Airport on February 12, 2018. (Source: Flickr photo by Donna Burton)

Washington State May Lead the Way in U.S. Regulation of F/R

If you exist anywhere other than under a rock, there is a 99% chance your image has been captured on video run by a government of some sort. Maybe a municipal traffic camera, or a neighborhood security cameras. Since their intended use is legal and above-board, not many people are alarmed, but now that the population is in an age of AI-driven facial recognition, groups are more concerned about how images may be accessed and who may be using them.

Khari Johnson of venturebeat.com wrote a story explaining what is at stake and why we should all be paying attention. From Washington’s state governments to Washington D.C our officials have decided to look at regulating facial recognition as much as that may be possible. Johnson wrote:

In Washington, D.C. this week, the House Oversight and Reform Committee pledged to introduce legislation in the “very near future” that could regulate facial recognition use by U.S. law enforcement agencies. In hearings held last summer, members of Congress exhibited a fairly unified bipartisan position that facial recognition use by the government should be regulated, and in some cases limited. But until this week, the future of sweeping facial recognition regulation seemed uncertain.

A bipartisan group in Congress wants action, roughly a dozen state governments are considering legislation, and news broke Thursday that the European Commission is considering a five-year moratorium on facial recognition among its potential next steps. This would make the EU body the largest government in the world to halt deployment of the technology.

Seeflection.com covered several reports about the unauthorized abuse of facial recognition in Colorado. We have shared reports of other municipal governments in California and in Massachusetts, who share the EU’s fear of the power of facial recognition driven by AI algorithms. Johnson’s article makes it clear we need to know much more before we turn that kind of power loose on our campuses and city streets.

Johnson writes that Amazon has been selling its AI material, even after being lobbied to stop. And there is no country anywhere that has more experience using AI facial recognition on their citizens. When it was discovered they were using certain technology to infringe on human rights, at least eight Chinese tech firms received sanctions.

The verge.com reported that there is a divide between major tech companies about the use of this facial recognition superpower. It could be dangerous, since the risks aren’t fully understood. It will be up to Congress and other authorities to regulate the use of the technology, before it is abused.

read more at venturebeat.com and at theverge.com