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2 Senators ask DHS to suspend facial recognition at airports

2 Senators ask DHS to suspend facial recognition at airports


Old Mar 14, 19, 10:46 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
The issue is not one of implied consent but as the courts have said one has "no expectation of privacy" in a public space. So then the question becomes should the public be reminded of that in a similar manner in which road side checkpoints have to be announced so that people can chose an alternative path if they wish?

Thread drift - I think the issue with mass MMW scanning technology which is akin to a search will hit the courts before any issue with facial recognition technology. And that should be announced in advance.
Does no "expectation of privacy" go so far that the collection of individual biometrics requires no notice or can be done regardless of a persons wishes?
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Old Mar 15, 19, 12:53 pm
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Just because you don't have an expectation of privacy (a standard going out of style in recent Supreme Court rulings on the Fourth Amendment) with respect to what you voluntarily display in a public place doesn't mean Congress should appropriate funding for the government to track every aspect of what everyone displays at all times in all possible public places (eg. ALPR, FR, IR). Unless there is another #NationalEmergency I am unaware of, Congress can "tell" DHS what not to do in an [un]appropriations bill.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 4:49 am
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
True, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a public space - however, as so many gub'ment people like to say about our actual rights and freedoms, that is not without its limits.

When speaking in a low voice to a specific person in a public space, there IS a reasonable expectation that your conversation will be private. Hence, using snooper mics or hidden recording devices to record someone's conversations without their consent is prohibited in many states by two-party consent laws.

Also, the issue is not just about being seen and recognized in public by cameras. It's about being surveilled and tracked in public by government cameras.

It's my understanding that individual surveillance and tracking, i.e. following someone to see where they go, what they do, and with whom they associate, requires a warrant, just like a search, due to the invasive nature of such an activity - even when performed entirely in public view only. To me, using facial recognition in public places to identify specific individuals and track where they travel, what they do, and with whom they associate, is just as much of an invasion of privacy.

I am not against the use of facial rec on footage from cameras in public areas, by law enforcement agencies engaged in authorized criminal investigations. However, the wholesale use of facial rec to track individuals through their travels and daily activities, even in public places like airports, is as wrong as assigning an individual cop to follow someone and note every place they visit, everything they do, and every person with whom they associate, even if it is only done strictly in public places. Such activities by the government have a naturally chilling affect on both freedom of movement and freedom of association, both of which are the foundations of freedom of speech, religion, and press.

In plainer language, outside of a specific, targeted, warranted criminal investigation, no government agency has a right to know where I go, what I do, or with whom I associate, EVER. And the widespread, constant use of facial rec technology violates that.

So, no integrated facial rec in airports, no facial rec in public, no facial rec for DHS. If the FBI or some other LEO agency is investigating someone, let them pull limited, specific security camera footage of just that one person, with a warrant, and run their own facial rec on it after the fact.
You do not have to have a warrant to keep tabs on someone in public areas. Many investigations use active surveillance in public areas with no warrant requirement. In many cases, the information gathered by watching someone is then used to get warrants. The two party recording requirements in *most* airports can be satisfied by posting that cctv and audio recording is active in all areas. I think we are trending towards being more like Britain in terms of having cameras everywhere, and having someone somewhere watching them all - technically in a legal way. I do not see any cases on the RADAR that will seriously challenge these practices, as they have been in use for years. To tie it back to the AIT, the signs have been posted in the airports, there is all kinds of online information to supplement, and it is printed (basic - you must complete screening in order to get on the plane) on the tickets or at least in the fine print of the contract you agree to. I am fairly certain that the position of the government will be that having it included in all of the paperwork, and posting it at the checkpoint on the public side, will be sufficient to gain implied consent - even in a litigation setting.

I am not arguing that these positions are right, or that they are wrong, I am simply saying that this is the reality in the US right now. At this point, I do not see any major court cases ongoing or upcoming that are going to push the process either direction.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
.....or can be done regardless of a persons wishes?
Just as it says to those not wishing to have their gonads crushed by TSA to get on a plane, the gubmint will say to those that wish not to have their faces hoovered up, "well, you have other options for getting to your destination..."

A less discussed aspect of the issue though is private companies that are doing the hoovering. Most jurisdictions in the US limit how long a government entity can hold on to this information. But there are no laws I am aware of that places any limits on private companies collecting this information. So gubmint agencies are just purchasing your whereabouts from the private sector (such as from Motorola subsidiary Vigilant) who can hold on to data indefinitely. Vehicle location data (from license plate readers) is particularly useful not just for repo companies but also for placing persons near a scene (someone tells an investigator that X did a crime; investigator can then determine what vehicles X uses/used/had access to and then asks a company like Vigilant if they can place a certain license plate in an area during a time period and, voila...). Its pretty cool. But also quite scary because we KNOW how effective the gubmint can be at obtaining convictions even when the convicted was actually not guilty.

Will be interesting to see if any airports or other modes of transportation seek to contract this type of surveillance to private sector companies who then monetize the data. Just think of the possibilities. Airports do not really need to do this because they already keep tabs on everyone as they move about the terminal through their phones and tablets; I dont believe there is much more to be gained by putting a face with the data. But I can be small-minded on these matters....
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Old Mar 18, 19, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
You do not have to have a warrant to keep tabs on someone in public areas.
Sounds like the line to expect from a stalker.
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Old Mar 19, 19, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Sounds like the line to expect from a stalker.
I find It difficult to disagree with that sentiment.

The LEOs would argue that if they are keeping tabs on someone they have intel, actionable information on, or that have violated laws in front of them, that they are simply being good protectors of the populace by conducting proactive policing. The long used mantra of "it's not what you know, but what you can prove that matters" is still true today. A LEO can have a pretty good notion (or intel, or direct statements from someone) that tell them someone is a bad guy, but until they do some digging and/or find some evidence to prove the information, that person will just go about their business. That is actually a positive, our legal system is supposed to be seeking the truth and justice, not who can win a popularity contest. LEOs that are in investigations are supposed to be putting together proof, not innuendo and things that are going to fall apart.
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