At House Committee Hearing, SIA Shares How Effective and Responsible Use of Facial Recognition Makes the Nation Safer

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SIA testified on the benefits of facial recognition before the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“Above all, we believe all technology products, including facial recognition technology, must only be used for purposes that are lawful, ethical and non-discriminatory.” – Jake Parker, senior director of government relations, SIA

The Security Industry Association (SIA), the leading trade association representing more than 1,000 companies and organizations developing and delivering security solutions, testified today before the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform. Jake Parker, senior director of government relations at SIA, represented the association before the committee during the Facial Recognition Technology (Part III): Ensuring Commercial Transparency & Accuracy hearing. In addition to Parker, Daniel Castro from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Dr. Charles Romine from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Meredith Whittaker from New York University and Brenda Leong from the Future of Privacy Forum all testified.

Parker’s full written testimony can be found on SIA’s website, and highlights are provided below on specific high-interest topics. Watch the full hearing video here.

On the importance of using facial recognition responsibly:
“Above all, we believe all technology products, including facial recognition technology, must only be used for purposes that are lawful, ethical and non-discriminatory. Specifically, we believe facial recognition makes our country safer and brings value to our everyday lives when used effectively and responsibly.”

On beneficial applications of facial recognition in commercial/private sector environments:
“In the private sector, facial recognition has offered tremendous benefits, primarily through allowing individuals to securely, quickly and conveniently prove their identity to enter a venue, board a plane, perform online transactions and seamlessly access personalized experiences. In addition, facial recognition has enabled private entities to secure their property against individuals seeking to commit violence, theft or other harm.”

On the importance of transparency when applying facial recognition:
“We believe transparency should be the foundation that governs the use of facial recognition technology, for both commercial and government use. It should be clear when and under what circumstances the technology is used as well as the processes and procedures governing the collection, processing, storage, use and transfer of related data.”

On how the industry is creating use principles:
“Regulation specific to commercial use of facial recognition technology only makes sense in the context of a national data privacy policy that includes biometric information – the subject of a broader ongoing debate. In the meantime, industry can play a more active role in providing users with the tools they need to implement robust policies for responsible use. SIA and our members are working to do just that by developing a set of use principles for facial recognition technology.”

On the takeaways of the recent NIST report:
“The most significant takeaway from the NIST report is that it confirms current facial recognition technology performs far better across racial groups than is widely reported.”

On the accuracy of facial recognition:
“The accuracy of facial recognition is reaching that of automated fingerprint comparison, which is generally viewed as the gold standard for identification.”

About SIA
SIA is the leading trade association for global security solution providers, with over 1,000 innovative member companies representing thousands of security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels, creating open industry standards that enable integration, advancing industry professionalism through education and training, opening global market opportunities and collaborating with other like-minded organizations. As the premier sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities. SIA also enhances the position of its members in the security marketplace through SIA GovSummit, which brings together private industry with government decision makers, and Securing New Ground, the security industry’s top executive conference for peer-to-peer networking.

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