The American Civil Liberties Union and its Massachusetts chapter filed a lawsuit in Boston, Mass. federal court suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union requested the federal agencies to provide information on its policies, contracts and other records relating to individual's use of face recognition programs and other biometric identification and tracking technology, says the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims these technologies have the potential to enable undetectable, persistent and suspicionless surveillance on an unprecedented scale. "Such surveillance would permit the government to pervasively track people's movements and associations in ways that threaten core constitutional values," says the lawsuit.
The lawsuit notes there are questions about the reliability of biometric identification technologies, including and particularly with respect to accurately identifying people of color, which elevate the risk that an innocent person will falsely be associated with criminal activity.
Through the request, the Union seeks to understand and provide the public with knowledge and awareness of how face recognition and other biometric identification technologies are currently being used by the government, and what safeguards are currently in place to prevent their abuse and protect "core constitutional rights," notes the lawsuit.
Multiple cities and towns have recently sued and protested the use of face and other biometric identification technologies.