Senator Markey Introduces Bill to Ban Face Surveillance
June 15, 2021
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), along with Senators Merkley, Sanders, Warren, and Wyden, as well as Congresswomen Jayapal, Pressley, and Tlaib today introduced legislation to stop government use of biometric surveillance, including facial recognition tools. The Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act prohibits the use of facial recognition and other biometric technologies by federal agencies, including Customs and Border Protection. "Facial recognition poses a significant threat to our democracy and privacy," said Caitriona Fitzgerald, Deputy Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). "Facial recognition technology has been shown time and time again to be biased, inaccurate, and disproportionately harmful to people of color. The Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2021 would effectively ban law enforcement use of this dangerous technology. EPIC is proud to support it.” EPIC leads a campaign to Ban Face Surveillance and through the Public Voice Coalition has gathered support from over 100 organizations and experts from more than 30 countries. Recently, in an open letter EPIC and a coalition of more than 175 civil society organizations and prominent individuals called for "an outright ban on uses of facial recognition and remote biometric recognition technologies that enable mass surveillance and discriminatory targeted surveillance."