Biometric Technologies and Global Security [March 8, 2021]   [open pdf - 505KB]

From the Document: "Biometric technologies use unique biological or behavioral attributes--such as DNA, fingerprints, cardiac signatures, voice or gait patterns, and facial or ocular measurements-- to authenticate an individual's identity. Although biometric technologies have been in use for decades, recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data analytics have expanded their application. As these technologies continue to mature and proliferate, largely driven by advances in the commercial sector, they will likely hold growing implications for congressional oversight, civil liberties, U.S. defense authorizations and appropriations, military and intelligence concepts of operations, and the future of war. [...] Congress has considered the implications of biometric-- specifically facial recognition--technologies in a number of recent legislative provisions. For example, Section 5104 of the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (P.L. [Public Law] 116-283) tasks the National AI Advisory Committee with advising the President on 'whether the use of facial recognition by government authorities ... is taking into account ethical considerations and ... whether such use should be subject to additional oversight, controls, and limitations.' In addition, Section 5708 of the FY2020 NDAA (P.L. 116-92) expresses the sense of Congress that the discriminatory use of facial recognition technologies 'is contrary to the values of the United States' and tasks the Director of National Intelligence with submitting to the congressional intelligence committees a report on the intelligence community's use of facial recognition technologies."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF11783
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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