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DHS Is Backing Away from Requiring U.S. Citizens to Submit to Facial-Recognition
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DHS Is Backing Away from Requiring U.S. Citizens to Submit to Facial-Recognition

The Homeland Security Department is taking a step back from requiring that the US residents submit to facial-recognition technology once they leave or enter the country.

The department stated Thursday that it has no plans to expand facial recognition to U.S. residents. A spokesman stated DHS would delete the idea from its regulatory agenda, the place privacy advocates noticed it this week

The lawmakers and advocates accused DHS of reneging on repeated guarantees to not force Americans to be photographed leaving or coming into the USA, a course that’s required for foreign visitors. Edward Hasbrouck, a privacy advocate who identified the proposal, stated the matter might not be settled.

Customs and Border Protection officials say they initially considered including U.S. citizens within the biometrics program as a result of having one system for Americans, and one other for foreigners adds complexity and will compromise safety or make lines longer.

However, after assembly with lawmakers and privacy experts—including this week—it determined it was better to proceed, letting Americans choose out.

Privacy experts have raised a questioned on the accuracy of facial recognition and warned that private information could possibly be vulnerable to hackers or used improperly by companies holding the information. In response to these criticisms, DHS made some modifications, including shortening the time it is going to retain pictures from 14 days to 12 hours.

Facial recognition is used to screen passengers at more than a dozen US airports. Some airlines, including Delta and JetBlue, tout it as a convenience for passengers who no longer want to point out boarding passes and identification.