The Department for Homeland Security announced that starting from 2018, a biometrics-program will be implemented in all US airports, at a cost for the American taxpayer of at least one billion dollars. Currently, the DHS has implemented biometrics ( cameras and software to illegally scan US citizens’ faces) only at certain airports, but starting from next year, they’re looking at full/nationwide implementation.
Neither the DHS nor the US Congress ever justified the use of biometric scanners at US airports, yet the TSA continues to prove their ineptitude in the so-called war on terror, as they regularly fail to detect bombs and weapons smuggled in airports. For further reference, read this article:Disturbing: DHS Report Shows 70% of TSA Screenings Fail to Catch Weapons or Bombs.
Now, the Department for Homeland Security is looking at a one billion dollar program, taxpayer funded of course, to create a huge data base via facial recognition software that will illegally scan your face as you travel by airplane. According to researchers at Georgetown Law, this program is completely unjustified, not to mention that it requires US citizens to give up their civil liberties:
“DHS’ biometric exit program also stands on shaky legal ground. Congress has repeatedly ordered the collection of biometrics from foreign nationals at the border, but has never clearly authorized the border collection of biometrics from American citizens using face recognition technology.
Without explicit authorization, DHS should not be scanning the faces of Americans as they depart on international flights—but DHS is doing it anyway. DHS also is failing to comply with a federal law requiring it to conduct a rulemaking process to implement the airport face scanning program—a process that DHS has not even started.”
As per the study’s findings, the biometric scanners/software used by the Department of Homeland Security for facial recognition is known to make mistakes quite often:
“according to DHS’ own data, DHS’ face recognition systems erroneously reject as many as 1 in 25 travelers using valid credentials.”
Currently, biometric scanners are deployed in America’s major airports, i.e. Boston, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, New York City and the District of Columbia, but starting from next year, DHS plans to implement its program nationwide. The privacy implications of this program were criticized by Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, and Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, who both demanded for DHS to stop their biometrics program via a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson:
“We request that DHS stop the expansion of this program, and provide Congress with its explicit statutory authority to use and expand a biometric exit program on U.S. citizens.
If there is no specific authorization, then we request an explanation for why DHS believes it has the authority to proceed without congressional approval. Additionally, we ask that you address a number of our privacy concerns with the program.”
Senator Markey told The Hill during an interview on the issue:
When American citizens travel by air internationally, they should not have to choose between privacy and security.The implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s facial recognition scanning program for passengers leaving the country raises a number of concerns around accuracy, transparency and basic necessity.”
DNA databases and facial recognition will mark the downfall of a free human race. Which country will be first to use it in order to first catalog and then fully control its citizenry ? North Korea? Iran? China? I bet that it will be an oppressive regime that will be the first to exert the power over the people and herd them into little categories and cages. And from there, the sky is the limit. Remember, you can’t trade privacy for security, it doesn’t work like that.