Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, joined Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon; Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts; Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, on July 31 in asking the Government Accountability Office to study both commercial and government use of facial recognition to determine the potential market, uses and possible abuses of the technology.

“Given the recent advances in commercial facial recognition technology — and its expanded use by state, local and federal law enforcement, particularly the FBI and Immigration and Customs and Enforcement — we ask that you investigate and evaluate the facial recognition industry and its government use,” the members wrote.

They also asked the GAO to examine what safeguards privacy companies and law-enforcement agencies have in place to prevent misuse of facial recognition technology, including targeting people based on race, gender or age.

“These technologies raise serious concerns about individual privacy rights and the disparate treatment of minority and immigrant communities within the U.S.,” the members wrote.

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