NextGov: TSA uses ‘minimum’ data to fine-tune its facial recognition, but some experts still worry 

January 29, 2024

Jeramie Scott — senior counsel and director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Project on Surveillance Oversight — called facial recognition “an invasive and dangerous surveillance technology,” adding that TSA’s use of it “basically endorses the use of facial recognition for identity verification.”  

“That will ultimately accelerate the use of our faces as our ID, and that has some very important implications for privacy, civil liberties, civil rights and our democracy,” he said, adding that the lack of federal regulations around facial recognition’s use means that — despite TSA’s current privacy requirements — “what may be the safeguards today does not mean they will be the safeguards tomorrow.” 

He also pushed back on TSA’s claim that it conducts “independent analysis” of collected data, since the agency falls under DHS’s authority. 

“You can’t say just because we handed it to a different part of the agency that that’s an independent test in any meaningful way,” Scott said. 

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