Today, LDF submitted comments to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in response to the request from the Justice Department and Department of home HS for public input regarding law enforcement agencies use of facial recognition technology; fingerprint and iris biometric technologies; DNA biometric technologies, including familial searching, probabilistic genotyping software, and predictive phenotyping; and person-based predictive policing algorithms discussed in Section 13(e) of the 2022 Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety. LDF’s comments focus on law enforcement’s use of facial recognition and predictive algorithms, outlining how law enforcement’s use of advanced technologies is likely to exacerbate existing racial bias in the criminal legal system.  

Advanced technologies used by law enforcement are often inaccurate and ineffective, perpetuate racial bias, and do not promote public safety. Evidence shows facial recognition systems perpetuate racial bias, and their use by law enforcement results in discriminatory policing. Predictive policing systems are also inaccurate, perpetuate racial bias, and contribute to discriminatory policing. The use of facial recognition technologies and predictive algorithms by law enforcement remain largely concealed, and efforts to create transparency have thus far been dismissed. Additional measures are needed to prevent potential violations of people’s civil rights by law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technologies and predictive algorithms. 

LDF has forged longstanding partnerships with impacted communities, organizers, researchers, and attorneys to challenge and reform unlawful and discriminatory policing practices across the country, including law enforcement’s use of technology and algorithmic systems in a racially discriminatory manner. These technologies, coupled with their use by law enforcement agencies, directly threaten the lives, liberty, rights, and dignity of Black people and other marginalized communities. 

Read the full comments here.