EPIC Challenges Facial Recognition at Airport, Files FOIA Lawsuit for Agency Procedures
March 12, 2019
EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to determine whether the U.S. government is allowing travelers to opt-out of facial recognition at airports. The "alternative screening procedures" should allow travelers to provide identification documents, such as a passport, and avoid facial recognition, which "is not mandatory for U.S. citizens" according to the CBP. But research by EPIC indicates that Custom and Border Protection has modified the program, making it increasingly difficult for travelers to opt-out. This week, Buzzfeed featured documents EPIC obtained about this flawed facial recognition program, which the Administration is seeking to establish at all U.S. airports. EPIC has urged Congress to suspend the CBP Biometric Entry-Exit program until privacy safeguards and meaningful opt-out procedures are established. The case is EPIC v. CBP, No. 19-cv-689 (D.D.C. March 12, 2019).