GAO Finds Widespread Use of Facial Recognition Without Adequate Privacy Protections

June 29, 2021

In a report, the Government Accountability Office found that 13 federal law enforcement agencies are unable to track employees use of facial recognition services and reported that 20 agencies use some form of facial recognition. Eight agencies own systems while 17 agencies used a system outside the agency in the last two years. The report found that 10 agencies used Clearview AI and 5 used its competitor Vigilant Systems. The GAO also reported that most federal law enforcement agencies were unable to comply with Privacy Act and E-Government Act requirements because the agencies do not track employee use of outside facial recognition systems. EPIC has an ongoing lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act seeking documents on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's use of Clearview AI and other facial recognition services. Recently, EPIC joined over 40 other organizations to detail the issues with law enforcement’s use facial recognition and call for a law enforcement ban on the technology's use.

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