Menu Close

Data foundation calls for better control of biometrics in policing

U.S. President Joe Biden wants Congress to establish clear rules for biometric data policies and tools used in criminal investigations.

Writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Biden said there need to be “clear limits on how companies can collect, use and share highly personal data — your internet history, your personal communications, your location, and your health, genetic and biometric data.”

The nonprofit exoneration group the Innocence Project has suggested the government go “a step further.”

In particular, a project analysis published last Friday by Sarah Chu, senior advisor on forensic science policy at the Innocence Project, highlights the limitations of some face recognition algorithms, which have been known to misidentify people of color at higher rates.

These mistakes, Chu says, have led to wrongful arrests in a legislative environment that has no clear regulations for using biometrics in investigations.

To protect data and prevent wrongful convictions again in the future, Chu supports regulating biometric tools used in criminal investigations.

“Doing so would ensure the just application of algorithmic technologies far more efficiently than piecemeal regulation of individual technologies — especially given the constant proliferation of new tools.”

ITIF explores police biometrics, other tech

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has also recently explored biometrics and other bleeding-edge technologies for police applications.

A foundation report published last week highlights the benefits of such technologies and encourages adoption but agrees with the Innocence Project that policymakers should enact regulations.

“Banning this promising set of technologies would cut law enforcement and the general public off from the many substantial benefits of police tech,” according to the report.

For instance, ITIF writes that when law enforcement can obtain biometrics evidence from a crime scene, it can use these characteristics to narrow down a pool of suspects or, when a suspect has already been identified, as evidence that the suspect committed a crime.

“Moreover, [banning these technologies] would eliminate opportunities to use technology to address police violence, bias and accountability civil rights groups have been working toward,” according to the report.

Instead, the Department of Justice (DOJ), state lawmakers and police departments, should pursue best practices to reduce abuse, eliminate bias, ensure transparency and promote effectiveness.

These include setting data retention policies for biometric data, mandatory basic cyber hygiene training for police officers and additional research by the DOJ into the effectiveness of police tech.

To discuss the ITIF report findings, several members of the foundation and other entities, participated in a panel discussion last week.

An analysis by Governing shares details about the discussion, which saw the participation of Boston Dynamics’ vice president of policy and government relations, Brendan Schulman; ITIF senior policy analyst Ashley Johnson and ShotSpotter’s vice president of analytics and forensic services, Tom Chittum.

The panel came days after Qiagen bought genomics firm Verogen for $150 million to boost forensic uses of biometrics. U.S. President Joe Biden wants Congress to establish clear rules for biometric data policies and tools used in criminal investigations.

Writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Biden said there need to be “clear limits on how companies can collect, use and share highly personal data — your internet history, your personal communications, your location, and your health, genetic and biometric data.”

The nonprofit exoneration group the Innocence Project has suggested the government go “a step further.”

In particular, a project analysis published last Friday by Sarah Chu, senior advisor on forensic science policy at the Innocence Project, highlights the limitations of some face recognition algorithms, which have been known to misidentify people of color at higher rates.

These mistakes, Chu says, have led to wrongful arrests in a legislative environment that has no clear regulations for using biometrics in investigations.

To protect data and prevent wrongful convictions again in the future, Chu supports regulating biometric tools used in criminal investigations.

“Doing so would ensure the just application of algorithmic technologies far more efficiently than piecemeal regulation of individual technologies — especially given the constant proliferation of new tools.”
ITIF explores police biometrics, other tech
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has also recently explored biometrics and other bleeding-edge technologies for police applications.

A foundation report published last week highlights the benefits of such technologies and encourages adoption but agrees with the Innocence Project that policymakers should enact regulations.

“Banning this promising set of technologies would cut law enforcement and the general public off from the many substantial benefits of police tech,” according to the report.

For instance, ITIF writes that when law enforcement can obtain biometrics evidence from a crime scene, it can use these characteristics to narrow down a pool of suspects or, when a suspect has already been identified, as evidence that the suspect committed a crime.

“Moreover, [banning these technologies] would eliminate opportunities to use technology to address police violence, bias and accountability civil rights groups have been working toward,” according to the report.

Instead, the Department of Justice (DOJ), state lawmakers and police departments, should pursue best practices to reduce abuse, eliminate bias, ensure transparency and promote effectiveness.

These include setting data retention policies for biometric data, mandatory basic cyber hygiene training for police officers and additional research by the DOJ into the effectiveness of police tech.

To discuss the ITIF report findings, several members of the foundation and other entities, participated in a panel discussion last week.

An analysis by Governing shares details about the discussion, which saw the participation of Boston Dynamics’ vice president of policy and government relations, Brendan Schulman; ITIF senior policy analyst Ashley Johnson and ShotSpotter’s vice president of analytics and forensic services, Tom Chittum.

The panel came days after Qiagen bought genomics firm Verogen for $150 million to boost forensic uses of biometrics.  Read More   

Generated by Feedzy

Disclaimer

Innov8 is owned and operated by Rolling Rock Ventures. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Any information obtained from this website should be reviewed with appropriate parties if there is any concern about the details reported herein. Innov8 is not responsible for its contents, accuracies, and any inaccuracies. Nothing on this site should be construed as professional advice for any individual or situation. This website includes information and content from external sites that is attributed accordingly and is not the intellectual property of Innov8. All feeds ("RSS Feed") and/or their contents contain material which is derived in whole or in part from material supplied by third parties and is protected by national and international copyright and trademark laws. The Site processes all information automatically using automated software without any human intervention or screening. Therefore, the Site is not responsible for any (part) of this content. The copyright of the feeds', including pictures and graphics, and its content belongs to its author or publisher.  Views and statements expressed in the content do not necessarily reflect those of Innov8 or its staff. Care and due diligence has been taken to maintain the accuracy of the information provided on this website. However, neither Innov8 nor the owners, attorneys, management, editorial team or any writers or employees are responsible for its content, errors or any consequences arising from use of the information provided on this website. The Site may modify, suspend, or discontinue any aspect of the RSS Feed at any time, including, without limitation, the availability of any Site content.  The User agrees that all RSS Feeds and news articles are for personal use only and that the User may not resell, lease, license, assign, redistribute or otherwise transfer any portion of the RSS Feed without attribution to the Site and to its originating author. The Site does not represent or warrant that every action taken with regard to your account and related activities in connection with the RSS Feed, including, without limitation, the Site Content, will be lawful in any particular jurisdiction. It is incumbent upon the user to know the laws that pertain to you in your jurisdiction and act lawfully at all times when using the RSS Feed, including, without limitation, the Site Content.  

Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami