Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate
Reload this Page >

2 Senators ask DHS to suspend facial recognition at airports

2 Senators ask DHS to suspend facial recognition at airports

Reply

Old Mar 13, 19, 5:47 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,252
2 Senators ask DHS to suspend facial recognition at airports

https://epic.org/2019/03/following-e...enators-t.html

After a Buzzfeed story featured documents obtained by EPIC about plans to expand facial recognition at airports, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Mike Lee (R-UT) called for the suspension of the program. The Senators stated that "DHS should pause their efforts until American travelers fully understand exactly who has access to their facial recognition data, how long their data will be held, how their information will be safeguarded, and how they can opt out of the program altogether."
Spiff and altabello like this.
petaluma1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 6:01 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 39,773
The thread title is a bit misleading. Senators do not "tell" DHS to do anything. Rather, two Senators have written a letter asking DHS to discontinue the practice.

"Telling" would require a majority of the Senate and House and the President's signature. Most likely in either the DHS authorization or as a spending prohibition in the DHS appropriation for 2020.
Often1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 9:21 am
  #3  
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: VNY | BUR | LAX
Programs: AAdvantage | MileagePlus
Posts: 10,747
Moderator's Action

Pursuant to FlyerTalk Rule 4, the thread title has been edited to accurately characterize the topic.

TWA884
Travel Safety/Security co-moderator
TWA884 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 10:43 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: where the chile is hot
Programs: AA,RR,NW,Delta ,UA,CO
Posts: 29,974
Can we talk about facial recognition technology on air travelers?

I think this should be handled as part of a much larger issue: the use of facial recognition technology by anyone, government or non-government. I don't think this is an issue that should wind its way through the courts with 'limits' being narrowly defined, court case by court case.

I'm particularly concerned about its use by DHS with no apparent oversight. This is an agency that has struggled to provide pax a quick and transparent challenge process to agency errors. There are already documented instances of facial recognition technology 'oopsies' (outside DHS). That's hardly surprising for a new and still developing (OT: read up on it - it is amazing!) technology. What is alarming is the thought that an 'oopsie' by a not-quite-ready-for-prime-time technology could lead to someone's freedoms being interfered with and no viable recourse being provided.

In short, I recall the days when a toddler would be held up at the airport because s/he was confused with a terrorist in some DHS database. There was no place for common sense and no quick and transparent recourse. I don't want to see the same thing happen with facial recognition technology.
altabello and Yoshi212 like this.
chollie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 11:11 am
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 86,735
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The thread title is a bit misleading. Senators do not "tell" DHS to do anything. Rather, two Senators have written a letter asking DHS to discontinue the practice.

"Telling" would require a majority of the Senate and House and the President's signature. Most likely in either the DHS authorization or as a spending prohibition in the DHS appropriation for 2020.
2 US senators told DHS to discontinue this program. And the link quoted says that the senators tell DHS to discontinue this.
GUWonder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 11:26 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Greensboro
Programs: TSA
Posts: 2,134
I understand the challenges that people are pointing out with this technology, I understand the points of concern that they are raising - what I do not see is a clear path for removal of the technology in public (or even private space at the direction of the owners). Some thing that I could see being slowed down or paused, would be the followup processes (like arrests based solely on this particular tech). The actual collection of the data and images in the public forum have been clearly upheld as there is no expectation of privacy in the public spaces. the position that most government agencies would *possibly* take is that the person opts into the technology by choosing to enter the buildings and to travel by air (as most government buildings/airports have signs posted indicating that CCTV is in use). I think that if changes come, it will be on the back end, such as how they have to go about arresting someone identified by this program.
gsoltso is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 11:45 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 14,837
Facial Recognition technology is just another chip on the stone of personal identity loss. I think we as a people have the right to not have all of our personal information in some government/private database. Finger prints, iris scans, now face recognition scans, among other data points, should be optional and a person should have to Opt In before any information is collected. DHS is not known for being very ethical in these things so I don't support any forms to collect personal information.
GUWonder, Spiff, petaluma1 and 2 others like this.
Boggie Dog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 1:38 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,412
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


2 US senators told DHS to discontinue this program. And the link quoted says that the senators tell DHS to discontinue this.
Often1 is technically correct. But because this type of communication can easily segue into an amendment to a bill or into a separate bill, it would be in DHS best interest to get out in front of the issue, no?
nachtnebel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 1:39 pm
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 86,735
Technically, ABC telling XYZ to stop doesnít mean XYZ have to necessarily stop and do actually stop.

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Facial Recognition technology is just another chip on the stone of personal identity loss. I think we as a people have the right to not have all of our personal information in some government/private database. Finger prints, iris scans, now face recognition scans, among other data points, should be optional and a person should have to Opt In before any information is collected. DHS is not known for being very ethical in these things so I don't support any forms to collect personal information.
Telling DHS to stop a program unless and until Congress gets involved to regulate matters in this area isnít a bad idea. Itís an even better idea if Congress manages to put in a regulatory scheme so we donít end up as being full-time surveillance targets based on showing a face. People shouldnít have to hide behind a full-face veil or light or heavy disguise in order to have a semblance of privacy while living an ordinary life.
Spiff and petaluma1 like this.
GUWonder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 19, 1:43 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: BOS and vicinity
Programs: Former UA 1P
Posts: 3,703
Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
Some thing that I could see being slowed down or paused, would be the followup processes (like arrests based solely on this particular tech).
At a minimum, clearly defining that a facial-recognition hit is not reasonable suspicion, and certainly not probable cause, of any criminal activity. And that facial recognition by itself will not be used for deprivation of liberty (including detention, including travel restrictions), property, etc. And accountability (i.e., real personal consequences with criminal and/or civil teeth) against any government actors that violate these tenants.

Of course the government will never go for that . . .

the position that most government agencies would *possibly* take is that the person opts into the technology by choosing to enter the buildings and to travel by air (as most government buildings/airports have signs posted indicating that CCTV is in use).
I, for one, am sick of the concept of implied consent and tired of the courts/legislature/people allowing the concept of implied consent to creep more and more into our lives. It's getting to the point where the government perceives stepping outside of your front door to be implied consent to giving up one or more rights.

Maybe (just maybe IMO) I imply consent to a TSA screening by buying a domestic airline ticket, but I certainly did not consent to being forced into a private room after an ETD alarm (since that procedure was not disclosed anywhere in advance of the ticket purchase), nor did I consent to having my travel habits and biometrics (i.e., facial recognition) hoovered up into some government database.
GUWonder, Spiff, petaluma1 and 1 others like this.
studentff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 19, 6:46 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Greensboro
Programs: TSA
Posts: 2,134
Originally Posted by studentff View Post
At a minimum, clearly defining that a facial-recognition hit is not reasonable suspicion, and certainly not probable cause, of any criminal activity. And that facial recognition by itself will not be used for deprivation of liberty (including detention, including travel restrictions), property, etc. And accountability (i.e., real personal consequences with criminal and/or civil teeth) against any government actors that violate these tenants.

Of course the government will never go for that . . .



I, for one, am sick of the concept of implied consent and tired of the courts/legislature/people allowing the concept of implied consent to creep more and more into our lives. It's getting to the point where the government perceives stepping outside of your front door to be implied consent to giving up one or more rights.

Maybe (just maybe IMO) I imply consent to a TSA screening by buying a domestic airline ticket, but I certainly did not consent to being forced into a private room after an ETD alarm (since that procedure was not disclosed anywhere in advance of the ticket purchase), nor did I consent to having my travel habits and biometrics (i.e., facial recognition) hoovered up into some government database.
Agreed about the clearly defining regulations and laws - I am a big fan of writing a law based upon what the law is supposed to be, not the ginormous garbage pork laden novels we get that are labelled "The Don't Cross the Road on Red Law", 5000 pages. It is silly, and sadly the population seems to think that it is ok. When we did away with line item vetoes, and specificity in law making, we did a grave disservice to ourselves, disguised under "good intentions".

I am not so certain about implied consent in public areas like airports and city/state/federal government building/areas. The signage has been almost the same as when I was a kid, and it has crept into the expectations of most younger folks - they selfie and post in on every social media site all the time, and they think nothing of the government doing the same... at least, until it creates a situation that is detrimental to them. I think that implied consent in public areas is not going to change back from what it has been for decades. I am not arguing the right/wrong aspect, merely the way I understand the system to work.

As far as TSA, they explain the basics of a pat-down, and in some cases the other parts of screening (as needed). I am fairly certain that folks are going to argue both ways on the implied consent part of the pat-down and alarm resolution procedures that are employed - I am equally certain that there will not be major changes either way, unless some outside force acts upon it (like a court case or a completely new thought process by the head shed).
gsoltso is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 19, 8:08 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the path to perdition
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 4,023
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.
FlyingUnderTheRadar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 19, 8:40 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 14,837
Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
Agreed about the clearly defining regulations and laws - I am a big fan of writing a law based upon what the law is supposed to be, not the ginormous garbage pork laden novels we get that are labelled "The Don't Cross the Road on Red Law", 5000 pages. It is silly, and sadly the population seems to think that it is ok. When we did away with line item vetoes, and specificity in law making, we did a grave disservice to ourselves, disguised under "good intentions".

I am not so certain about implied consent in public areas like airports and city/state/federal government building/areas. The signage has been almost the same as when I was a kid, and it has crept into the expectations of most younger folks - they selfie and post in on every social media site all the time, and they think nothing of the government doing the same... at least, until it creates a situation that is detrimental to them. I think that implied consent in public areas is not going to change back from what it has been for decades. I am not arguing the right/wrong aspect, merely the way I understand the system to work.

As far as TSA, they explain the basics of a pat-down, and in some cases the other parts of screening (as needed). I am fairly certain that folks are going to argue both ways on the implied consent part of the pat-down and alarm resolution procedures that are employed - I am equally certain that there will not be major changes either way, unless some outside force acts upon it (like a court case or a completely new thought process by the head shed).
Just like collecting personal biometrics without full disclosure TSA's pat down advisement leaves out critical information, such as I'm about to grab your junk.
Spiff likes this.
Boggie Dog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 19, 10:25 am
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 86,735
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.
Itís simply not all that simple when it comes to systematic monitoring of individuals, whether or not the government is using a fishing expedition method.
GUWonder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 19, 10:41 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards. Tha... that's about it.
Posts: 3,819
Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
I understand the challenges that people are pointing out with this technology, I understand the points of concern that they are raising - what I do not see is a clear path for removal of the technology in public (or even private space at the direction of the owners). Some thing that I could see being slowed down or paused, would be the followup processes (like arrests based solely on this particular tech). The actual collection of the data and images in the public forum have been clearly upheld as there is no expectation of privacy in the public spaces. the position that most government agencies would *possibly* take is that the person opts into the technology by choosing to enter the buildings and to travel by air (as most government buildings/airports have signs posted indicating that CCTV is in use). I think that if changes come, it will be on the back end, such as how they have to go about arresting someone identified by this program.
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.
WillCAD is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread