US and EU lack protections on use of biometrics at borders, reports say

As the European Union continues to make progress on its digital ID, online protection and AI governance projects, a new report says the use of AI for border control is not covered by the proposed AI law. In the United States, another report reveals how the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has built a vast surveillance apparatus using biometrics and billions of data points from digital records on identity documents of millions of people.

EU’s Proposed AI Bill Won’t Regulate AI and Biometric Technology at Borders

Although it has already spent 341 million euros ($354 million) since 2007 on research into artificial intelligence technologies for immigration, asylum and border control, the proposed European law on AI would not regulate these applications of AI and biometrics, claims a report published by Statewatch in a coalition with other human rights organizations.

“A Clear and Present Danger: Missing Safeguards on Migration and Asylum in EU AI Law” brings together dozens of examples of existing and proposed projects covering biometric identification and verification devices , automated data collection, predictive analytics software, databases and even border control robots. He finds that these are either insufficiently covered or excluded by the proposed AI law.

The team acknowledges that European Parliament committees have taken a harder line in their assessments and comments on the proposed AI law, but have still not addressed the issue of migrants and asylum seekers. ‘asylum.

The report also notes that private companies received the bulk of the funding at €163 million. A previous Statewatch report found that spending on border control in the EU has grown rapidly since the migrant crisis that began in 2014.

Report builds case against ICE using sophisticated surveillance and biometrics

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency “operates like a national surveillance agency” accessing private company information about the lives of as many people living in America as possible and contracting a biometrics company in its effort to carry out deportations and play “a key role in the federal government’s broader push to amass as much information as possible about all of our lives,” according to a new report.

‘American Dragnet: Data-Driven Deportation in the 21st Century’ is the result of a two-year investigation and hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests as well as a review of how ICE contracts and acquires technology, by the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, the law school of Georgetown University in Washington DC.

“In its arrest and deportation efforts, ICE has – without any judicial, legislative or public oversight – accessed datasets containing personal information about the vast majority of people living in the United States, including Records can end up in the hands of immigration simply because they apply for driver’s licenses; drive on the roads; or register with their local utilities for access to heat, water and to electricity,” the report said.

A review of more than 100,000 spending transactions by ICE reveals that it spent US$2.8 billion between 2008 and 2021 on monitoring, data collection and data sharing initiatives. This reveals that he was building sophisticated surveillance capabilities much earlier than previously thought.

The authors previously believed that ICE began performing facial recognition on state and local datasets beginning in 2013, but uncovered a 2008 contract with defense and biometrics contractor L-1 Identity Solutions, several years before it became part of what it is now Idemia.

This contract allowed ICE to access the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles’ facial recognition database to “recognize criminal aliens.”

This was the tip of the surveillance iceberg, according to the report: “ICE used facial recognition technology to search the driver’s license photographs of approximately 1 in 3 adults in the United States. agency has access to the driving license data of 3 in 4 adults and tracks the movements of cars in cities with nearly 3 in 4 adults (70%).

“When 3 out of 4 adults in the United States connected gas, electricity, telephone, or the Internet in a new home, ICE was able to automatically learn their new address. Almost all of this was done without a warrant and in secret.

In addition to utility and DMV records, ICE also brings data from social media posts, health care records, child protection records, and geolocation information. It then uses algorithmic tools to find, match, and analyze the data.

As recently as August 2020, Clearview AI won a contract with ICE for facial recognition services. Last week, ICE extended its contract with Trust Stamp for a facial recognition app to track asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border.

The research finds that state authorities largely ignore ICE’s surveillance of their residents, while some agencies deny responsibility for ICE’s access to their records.

The report’s authors make numerous recommendations such as that Congress “conduct aggressive oversight of ICE surveillance” to understand how ICE uses biometrics, including facial recognition, fingerprints, and DNA and that ICE should end its surveillance and use of facial recognition on DMV data for immigration. enforcement.

Article topics

AI Law | biometric identification | biometrics | border management | EU | European | facial recognition | ICE | identity verification | monitoring | United States

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