Oversight Committee Held Bipartisan Hearing on Federal Agencies’ Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Jun 4, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (June 4, 2019)— Today, Chairman Elijah E. Cummings convened the Committee’s second facial recognition technology hearing of the year entitled, “Facial Recognition Technology (Part II): Ensuring Transparency in Government Use.” 

 

TAKEAWAYS

 

  • The hearing demonstrated strong bipartisan support for more transparency in federal agencies’ use of facial recognition technology on Americans.

 

  • Dr. Gretta Goodwin, a director with the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), testified that the FBI has failed to adequately respond to five of GAO’s open recommendations for the FBI’s use of facial recognition systems.

 

  • Kimberly Del Greco testified that the FBI disagrees with GAO’s assessment of the legal requirements on the FBI’s privacy disclosures.  She also testified that the FBI bases its sharing agreements with states on legislation that pre-dated the existence of facial recognition technology.

 

  • Dr. Charles Romine, a director with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), explained that NIST plans to issue a report on the demographic accuracy of facial recognition technology algorithms in the fall of this year.

 

  • Mr. Austin Gould, assistant administrator with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), testified that TSA plans to expand its use of facial recognition technology on U.S. citizens through additional pilot programs at different airports throughout the United States.

 

  • During his opening statement, Chairman Cummings announced that the Committee’s subcommittees will hold additional hearings on specific issues relating to the use of facial recognition technology.  Cummings also said he would invite the federal agencies back in the coming months to answer unanswered questions.

 

WITNESSES

 

Kimberly J. Del Greco

Deputy Assistant Director

Criminal Justice Information Services

Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

Dr. Gretta Goodwin

Director

Justice and Law Enforcement Issues

Homeland Security and Justice Team

U.S. Government Accountability Office

 

Dr. Charles Romine

Director

Information Technology Laboratory

National Institute of Standards and Technology

 

Austin Gould

Assistant Administrator

Requirements and Capabilities Analysis

Transportation Security Administration 

 

VIDEOS

Watch Chairman Cummings’ opening statement.

 

Watch Chairman Cummings’ question line.

 

Watch Rep. Hill’s question line.

 

Watch Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s question line.

 

116th Congress