EPIC Urges Interagency Body to Center Privacy, Human Rights in Federal Research on AI Image Analysis

September 6, 2022

EPIC is urging the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program to center privacy and human rights in its revised plan for federal research on AI-powered image analysis. Originally published in 2020, the Video and Image Analytics Research and Development Action Plan lays out strategic objectives for federal research involving video and image analytics, including AI-based computer vision.

As EPIC explained in its comments, the original Action Plan did not even discuss the need for privacy and human rights safeguards on image analytics, despite the clear risks such systems can pose to the public. Dangerous government applications of video and image analytics are well documented, from facial recognition algorithms to autonomous or AI-powered weapons systems.

“EPIC supports the continuing development of a coordinated federal strategy for [image analytics] R&D, but the uniformity imposed across agencies must include a robust privacy and human rights framework,” EPIC wrote. EPIC also advocated for increased transparency of federal research on image analytics and for the establishment of binding human rights safeguards on such technologies.

EPIC has called for a moratorium on facial recognition technology and has long advocated for human rights-centered AI policy.

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