Watchdog Group Sues ICE For Records of Facial Recognition Use and Data Collection Methods

Watchdog Group Sues ICE For Records of Facial Recognition Use and Data Collection Methods

The Project on Government Oversight wants more information about how the agency has solicited facial recognition software from Amazon and other companies.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is facing a lawsuit for failing to release records pertaining to its surveillance and data collection capabilities, which are rapidly expanding into fields like facial recognition.

In the past year, the Project on Government Oversight that it has requested documents from ICE eight times about its detention methods, civil rights violations and surveillance technology, The Washington Post reported. Those requests were filed under the Freedom of Information Act, which requires a government agency to make a decision and notify the person who requested the information within 20 days.

The government watchdog group, which uses the acronym POGO, said that in all eight cases, ICE either gave incomplete responses or failed to respond to their requests.

“The information to be disclosed is likely to contribute to an increased public understanding of government activities, as it relates to powerful and troubling technological capabilities that federal law enforcement may be considering harnessing,” the group wrote in its complaint, filed Thursday, according to the Post.

In further explaining the group’s reasoning for requesting the documents, POGO wrote: “This technology would be externally directed toward the public and the public has a great interest in whether the government is taking steps to utilize this technology.”

Last year, POGO obtained and published documents showing that Amazon Web Services had pitched the company’s facial recognition software, Rekognition, to ICE in June 2018. Since then, the group has made several followup requests with ICE to obtain more materials surrounding Amazon’s pitch, analysis of the software and communications between officials about facial recognition.

ICE, which has not commented publicly about the lawsuit, sent back three redacted pages to POGO based on an initial request and said that no further documents about facial recognition could be found. The watchdog group said that it is “seemingly unlikely” that ICE, which has reportedly used facial recognition for arrests of undocumented people in the U.S., does not have further records on the subject in their system.

“This is a technology that has a lot of policy urgency because of how rapidly the adoption of the technology is taking place and how rapidly it’s changing,” Jake Laperruque, the senior counsel for POGO who submitted FOIA requests to the agency, told the Post. “It’s not the kind of thing where we can afford to wait two years to see how it’s being used.”

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • 12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    Understanding crime statistics in your industry and area is crucial for making important decisions about your security budget. With so much information out there, how can you know which statistics to trust? Read Now

  • Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    In alignment with the state of Mississippi’s mission of “Empowering Mississippi citizens to stay connected and engaged with their government,” Salient's CompleteView VMS is being installed throughout more than 150 state boards, commissions and agencies in order to ensure safety for thousands of constituents who access state services daily. Read Now

  • Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    This year’s Live From GSX program was a rousing success! Again, we’d like to thank our partners, and IPVideo, for working with us and letting us broadcast their solutions to the industry. You can follow our Live From GSX 2023 page to keep up with post-show developments and announcements. And if you’re interested in working with us in 2024, please don’t hesitate to ask about our Live From programs for ISC West in March or next year’s GSX. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX
  • People Say the Funniest Things

    People Say the Funniest Things

    By all accounts, GSX version 2023 was completely successful. Apparently, there were plenty of mix-ups with the airlines and getting aircraft from the East Coast into Big D. I am all ears when I am in a gathering of people. You never know when a nugget of information might flip out. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3

  • ResponderLink

    ResponderLink

    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an Alarm.com company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3

  • Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden Door Controls is pleased to announce that, in response to soaring customer demand, it has expanded its range of ValueWave™ no-touch switches to include a narrow (slimline) version with manual override. This override button is designed to provide additional assurance that the request to exit switch will open a door, even if the no-touch sensor fails to operate. This new slimline switch also features a heavy gauge stainless steel faceplate, a red/green illuminated light ring, and is IP65 rated, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use as part of an automatic door or access control system. ValueWave™ no-touch switches are designed for easy installation and trouble-free service in high traffic applications. In addition to this narrow version, the CM-221 & CM-222 Series switches are available in a range of other models with single and double gang heavy-gauge stainless steel faceplates and include illuminated light rings. 3