SIA Opposes Reintroduction of Facial Recognition & Biometric Technology Moratorium Act — Security Today

SIA rejects reintroduction of the moratorium law on face recognition and biometric technology

The legislation would impose an unnecessary blanket ban and prevent the government from taking advantage of the proven benefits of biometric and related image analytics

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced its staunch opposition to the Law on the Moratorium on Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology, originally introduced in 2020 and reintroduced on June 15 by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA). SIA publicly opposed the initial introduction of the bill, which largely resembles the 117th Congress version.

Legislation would ban most federal, state, and local uses of almost all biometric and related image analysis technologies outright, jeopardizing the legitimate, documented benefits of facial recognition technologies used by law enforcement agencies, including:

  • Identification of individuals who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th
  • Reuniting victims of human trafficking with their families and loved ones
  • Detecting the use of fraudulent documents by non-nationals at ports of entry
  • Support in counter-terrorism investigations in critical situations
  • Discharge innocent people charged with crimes

“Rather than imposing blanket moratoriums, the SIA encourages Congress to propose balanced laws that put in place adequate safeguards to ensure that facial recognition technology is used ethically, responsibly, and under appropriate supervision, and that the United States remains a world leader in promoting innovation,” said Don Erickson, SIA chief.

Such approaches and recommendations have been reflected in the following areas supported by SIA:

  • The US Innovation and Competition Act – welcomed by SIA after its Senate enactment earlier this month – authorizes the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund research and development initiatives in key technology areas, including biometrics
  • Increased funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) image analysis unit, which will expand NIST’s testing infrastructure and computing power needed to improve the NIST testing program for facial recognition providers
  • Channel additional NSF funding to historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic institutions, and other minority institutions to develop interdisciplinary research focused on developing facial recognition algorithms to educate students firsthand about the challenges and opportunities these advanced technologies offer, including issues of performance differences and bias mitigation

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