US Customs and Border Protection on December 5 said, they will forgo their initial plan, which required that US citizens undergo a bio metric facial scan, while entering or leaving the country. At the moment, citizens of USA have a choice to opt out of the scans, but the previously proposed rule stated that the agency was planning to make the program mandatory for all travelers in the United States.
“There are no current plans to require US citizens to provide photographs upon entry and exit from the United States. CBP intends to have the planned regulatory action regarding US citizens removed from the unified agenda next time it is published.” while talking to TechCrunch, the agency said in a statement.
While, the technology guarantees it will help speed up the entry of international travelers through airports, it is also considered a direct threat to privacy. Some notable privacy advocates have raised concerns regarding the inaccuracy of the system and how it can lead to further issues, like mis-identification. Furthermore, it is vastly unclear how the bio metric data would be used by government agencies.
Even though the use of surveillance and facial recognition technology is ubiquitous and ever growing, these advanced technologies are still new and not always entirely accurate. According to recent studies conducted by Michael Drury, a partner at BCL Solicitors, facial recognition has a few irregularities, like it is better at identifying, men as compared to women. Similarly another study concluded that, facial recognition was better at identifying people of Caucasian dissent compared to other ethnic groups. This significantly affects chances of false or inaccurate identification of suspects, which would result in many cases of miscarriage of justice.
Senior ACLU policy analyst, Jay Stanley, also said that the rule of mandatory biometric facial scans should have never have been proposed in the first place. “The government cannot be trusted with this surveillance technology,” Stanley said, “and Congress should put the brakes on its use.”
Earlier, China also enlightened the global community with the news of it planning on giving all 1.4 billion of its population, a rating based on behavior by implementing various technologies, including facial scans.
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