DC Oversight Hearing on Facial Recognition Software

March 22, 2017

  • Approximately half of adult Americans’ photographs are in a FRT database.
    • 18 states each have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the FBI to share photos with the federal government, including from state departments of motor vehicles (DMV). The committee identified Maryland and Arizona as having MOUs with the FBI.
    • The FBI will continue to pursue MOUs with states to gain access to DMV images.
  • The FBI used facial recognition technology (FRT) for years without first publishing a privacy impact assessment, as required by law.
  • FRT has accuracy deficiencies, misidentifying female and African American individuals at a higher rate. Human verification is often insufficient as a backup and can allow for racial bias.
  • The FBI went to great lengths to exempt itself from certain provisions of the Privacy Act.

Al-Jazeera – Under Fire for Distorted Coverage


Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-funded international news bureau, has been accused by its own editors and reporters of intentionally distorting coverage of conflict in Syria and Libya.

Canada’s Real News Network did a 3-part interview with Ali Hashem, a Beirut-based reporter for Al-Jazeera who recently quit his job. An editor at the same bureau later supported Hashem’s allegation and left his position as well. Continue reading Al-Jazeera – Under Fire for Distorted Coverage