Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has sounded off a warning against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) using facial recognition software at domestic airports, as a means of tracking the habits and whereabouts of the American people.
Jordan addressed the Biden White House's expanded implementation of facial recognition technology, lamenting Tuesday via Twitter:
"Countries like China and Russia use facial recognition technology to track their citizens. Do you trust Joe Biden's TSA to use it as well?"
Jordan, the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has apparently become concerned about the reports of 16 leading airports in America relying on high-tech facial scans.
The congressman then referred to a media opinion piece that characterized the facial-scanning program as "one of the largest efforts to collect advanced biometric data of law-abiding citizens in U.S. history."
An excerpt from that Fox News piece reads:
"TSA administrator David Pekoske says his agency has found that the facial recognition algorithm is more accurate than human TSA agents, and TSA claims that eventually facial recognition could be combined with government databases to eliminate the need for carrying an ID at the airport completely.
"But as convenient and effective the program could become, it poses substantial long-term threats to individual liberty that far outweigh its possible benefits. The TSA says it will not keep the data associated with most travelers' facial scans, although some will be retained to test the system's effectiveness and for law enforcement.
"And the TSA further promises that under the current iteration of the program, it will allow travelers to opt out of the facial scans entirely. But there is no guarantee that these policies will remain permanently in place, and there are no federal laws that would prevent the TSA from storing biometric data in the future."
From Jordan's perspective, the facial-scan system could potentially lead to further steps of replacing human verification with machine verification at airports.
Also, The Washington Post had a columnist recently bring forth another issue with high-tech facial scans that involve the notion of privacy.
"Federal government algorithms from 2019 found people with Black or Asian ancestry could be up to 100 times less accurately identified than white men," Post columnist Geoffrey Fowler told PBS in a recent interview.
"That raises all kinds of questions in the context of air travel. Might these systems be letting through imposters? Another one is, could they lead people of minorities to get unfair treatment at the airport? Are people with darker skin going to be sent to special lines for extra inspection?" Fowler asked rhetorically.
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