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Illinois pols move face biometrics ban for undocumented immigrants

Illinois pols move face biometrics ban for undocumented immigrants

The Illinois state Senate has passed a resolution that would greatly restrict the access that immigration agencies within federal and other state governments have to the biometric data of state residents.

If passed by the House, the bill would prohibit that state from sharing residents’ government ID photographs. It also would stop the Secretary of State from providing facial recognition search services to government bodies enforcing federal immigration laws.

The measure was prompted by fears that face biometrics is being used unconstitutionally to police undocumented residents. It has been handed to the House of Representatives for consideration.

According to the National Immigration Law Center, there are no federal laws governing face biometrics. Federal officials have shared little information about how they collect, manage and protect images, the center asserts.

State Sen. Celina Villanueva, who introduced the legislation in February, has said that trust does not exist when it comes to the government use of biometric identification.

The Chicago Democrat says undocumented residents are being targeted by the technology, which encourages them to go further underground.

A similar measure in New York resulted in state residents being blocked from TSA Trusted Traveler programs, before an amendment to the ‘Green Light’ law allowing biometric checks “as necessary” was added to the bill.

A pair of California immigrant rights groups last month sued face-scraper Clearview AI to stop it from sharing its billions of face images with law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The advocacy groups are Mijente and NorCal Resist, and they say the data is being used to unfairly target immigrants and political dissidents.

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