The unchecked expansion of surveillance systems is one of the greatest threats to privacy and civil liberties that we face. EPIC advocates for greater oversight of surveillance systems and closely tracks domestic surveillance issues to ensure that civil liberties are protected.
Private companies, government agencies, and police alike use unregulated tech for surveillance. The growing use of surveillance technology, and the use of mass surveillance in particular, poses an existential threat to our individual privacy, the privacy of our communities, and our democracy. The lack of regulation and protections against unrestricted use of surveillance tech affects us all but disproportionately impacts vulnerable communities. From local police using facial recognition to identify activists to federally-funded surveillance offices run by the Department of Homeland Security, abuses of surveillance technology are not only unjust, they’re dangerous.
Areas of Focus within Surveillance Oversight
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Manned surveillance aircraft and drones are poised to allow the real-time monitoring of entire populations.
The increasing capabilities of facial recognition algorithms and the proliferation of photos along with the easy access to these photos by private companies and governments has supercharged the deployment of face surveillance systems.
Governments hold vast amounts of personal data, and the flows of data between government agencies demands strict public oversight.
EPIC is watching the watchers.
Passed in the wake of 9/11, the PATRIOT Act’s expansion of government surveillance authorities still holds decades later.
Public surveillance can pick an individual from a crowd, eroding your right to anonymity in public spaces.
Travel screens at airports and border crossings provide the government with a vast amount of data.
Congressional and public oversight of the Government’s information gathering activities is crucial.
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