Not Just a Face in the Crowd (Part 1)

Use of facial recognition technology (FRT) is exploding around the globe. While touted as a convenience for checking in for a flight or crossing the border, the opportunities for abuse are staggering. People act differently when they feel they’re being watched. There’s a reason we have sayings like “dance like no one is watching”. But US agencies like TSA and CBP have gained access to treasure troves of faces from DMV and passport databases, without ever asking our permission, and they’re rolling out FRT across the nation. There are no laws or regulations on the use of this technology, and little thought being given to how constant, mass surveillance will affect our democratic and human rights. In the first part of my two-part interview with Jeremie Scott (EPIC), we’ll discuss how we got here.

Jeramie Scott is Senior Counsel at EPIC and Director of the EPIC Domestic Surveillance Project. His work focuses on the privacy issues implicated by domestic surveillance programs with a particular focus on drones, AI, biometrics, and social media monitoring. Mr. Scott regularly litigates open government cases and cases arising under the Administrative Procedure Act. He is also a co-editor of “Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions” and the author of “Social Media and Government Surveillance: The Case for Better Privacy Protections of Our Newest Public Space.” Prior to joining EPIC, Mr. Scott graduated from the New York University Law School where he was a clinic intern at the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. His work at the Brennan Center focused on civil liberty issues arising from local law enforcement surveillance.

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