SIA and Other Organizations Urge Congress to Consider Facts and Benefits of Facial Recognition

Groups outline concerns with blanket prohibitions or moratoriums on the technology, citing beneficial uses for public safety, national security and fighting fraud.

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Security Industry Association (SIA) – as part of a coalition of  organizations and trade associations – has issued a letter to Congress outlining its concerns regarding potential bans on public-sector uses of facial recognition technology. The letter authors encourage the federal government to collaborate with all stakeholders to address concerns about the use of facial recognition technology and recommend federal leaders provide a consistent set of rules across the United States.

In an Oct. 16 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the coalition – which includes SIA, the Airports Council International – North America, the American Association of Airport Executives, the Consumer Technology Association, the Global Business Travel Association, the Identification Technology Association, the Information Biometrics + Identity Association, NetChoice and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – outlined the history of facial recognition and its prevalent use across various industries, the potential consequences of a moratorium on the technology and recent innovation and work to ethically and responsibly govern the technology.

“Recent calls for bans on facial recognition technology are based on a misleading picture of how the technology works and is used today,” said Don Erickson, CEO of SIA. “Facial recognition technology has benefited Americans in many ways, such as helping to fight human trafficking, thwart identity thieves and improve passenger facilitation at airports and enhance aviation security. As a representative of companies that provide and leverage facial recognition, SIA believes this advanced technology should be used in a safe, accurate and effective way, and we look forward to working with Congress to help the U.S. set the example on how to ethically and responsibly govern this technology.”

As part of its ongoing efforts to address confusion about facial recognition and increase awareness of its beneficial uses, SIA recently produced the resource Face Facts: Dispelling Common Myths Associated With Facial Recognition Technology. This document explores the facial recognition technology landscape and how the technology works, outlines how government and law enforcement use the technology and addresses confusion and common myths. Additionally, the resource shares examples of effective use of the technology to help locate missing children, mitigate travel document fraud and improve processes like storefront security and mobile banking.

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.