DHS Announces Program To Illegally Scan Our Faces

Authored by Rachel Blevins via The Free Thought Project,

Both Congress and the Department of Homeland Security have never justified the biometric scanners at airports that could cost Americans $1 billion in 2018.

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As TSA agents continue to prove their incompetence in the “War on Terror,” the Department of Homeland Security is now allocating $1 billion in taxpayer funding to create a facial recognition program that will illegally scan Americans’ faces.

A study conducted by Georgetown Law’s Center for Privacy and Technology looked at the biometric scanners that are creating an inventory of the faces of individuals leaving the country at airports across the United States. While they are only at certain major airports right now, the full implementation of these scanners could cost Americans up to $1 billion.

The study noted that while the “9/11 Response and Biometric Exit Account” created by Congress has the funds for the program, neither Congress nor DHS has ever justified the need for the program.”

In addition to the fact that Congress has never provided a reason why the system is needed in the U.S., the study claimed that DHS has “repeatedly questioned ‘the additional value biometric air exit would provide’ compared with the status quo and the ‘overall value and cost of a biometric air exit capability,’ even as it has worked to build it.”

Not only is a government agency pouring $1 billion into a program to increase the country’s security measures even though it lacks full confidence, and has no evidence that the program it is implementing will do so, there is also the fact that the program requires Americans to give up their civil liberties, and it has never been explicitly authorized by the government. As the researchers from Georgetown Law noted:

“DHS’ biometric exit program also stands on shaky legal ground. Congress has repeatedly ordered the collection of biometrics from foreign nationals at the border, but has never clearly authorized the border collection of biometrics from American citizens using face recognition technology.

Without explicit authorization, DHS should not be scanning the faces of Americans as they depart on international flights—but DHS is doing it anyway. DHS also is failing to comply with a federal law requiring it to conduct a rulemaking process to implement the airport face scanning program—a process that DHS has not even started.”

The study also found that the biometric scanners used by DHS are not reliable, and often make mistakes. In fact, according to DHS’ own data, DHS’ face recognition systems erroneously reject as many as 1 in 25 travelers using valid credentials.” This means that at the country’s busiest airports, more than 1,500 travelers could be wrongfully denied boarding in a single day.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, while the biometric scanners are currently located at the major airports in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, New York City and the District of Columbia, DHS has made it clear that they plan to roll this program out nationwide by January 2018.

Sens. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, criticized the privacy implications, and called for Homeland Security to halt the facial recognition scanning program in a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson:

“We request that DHS stop the expansion of this program, and provide Congress with its explicit statutory authority to use and expand a biometric exit program on U.S. citizens.

If there is no specific authorization, then we request an explanation for why DHS believes it has the authority to proceed without congressional approval. Additionally, we ask that you address a number of our privacy concerns with the program.”

Markey told The Hill that DHS should never have started testing and implementing the biometric scanners without first receiving congressional approval, and the United States Congress should take the time to weigh the implications of the program before handing the department a blank check.

When American citizens travel by air internationally, they should not have to choose between privacy and security, Markey said. “The implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s facial recognition scanning program for passengers leaving the country raises a number of concerns around accuracy, transparency and basic necessity.”

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Comments

SafelyGraze Skid Marks Sat, 12/30/2017 - 13:13 Permalink

not faces.

feces.

the face can be altered by make up and so forth

but the bowels are unique to each citizen

the legislation calls for a bowel scan of every citizen within the public arena.

relax. hold your breath. count to twenty.

and you over there -- count to a thousand while bluto verifies your identity.

In reply to by Skid Marks

are we there yet bamawatson Sat, 12/30/2017 - 13:52 Permalink

Privacy and being anonymous has been gone a long time. Drivers licenses, license plates, fingerprints, credit card tracing, phone records, tax records, countless cameras in everyday life, social security, bank transactions, the long list goes on. Fighting technology like Luddites is a loosing battle. Pick your battles. I wish the government would use these tools to catch and incarcerate identity thieves, and mass email scammers that drain our everyday lives. That might be an achievable goal.

In reply to by bamawatson

JRobby IH8OBAMA Sat, 12/30/2017 - 16:13 Permalink

Long costumes & "accessories"

Beards, hats, cheap sunglasses..........

Spied a little thing and I followed her all night
In a funky fine Levis and her sweater's kind of tight
She had a west coast strut that was as sweet as molasses
But what really knocked me out was her cheap sunglasses
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

In reply to by IH8OBAMA

SWRichmond JRobby Sat, 12/30/2017 - 16:22 Permalink

Stiff like this will simply give rise to countermeasures, facial distorting inserts, things work inside your mouth, and so on.  Already been experimenting with this, so bring it on, come on in the water's fine, go ahead and spend a shitload of taxpayer money rolling out something which will be rendered obsolete in short order.

 

Government is such a bunch of douchebags.

In reply to by JRobby

JRobby IH8OBAMA Sat, 12/30/2017 - 16:13 Permalink

Long costumes & "accessories"

Beards, hats, cheap sunglasses..........

Spied a little thing and I followed her all night
In a funky fine Levis and her sweater's kind of tight
She had a west coast strut that was as sweet as molasses
But what really knocked me out was her cheap sunglasses
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

In reply to by IH8OBAMA