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SIA urges more support for NIST biometrics tests, passage of two US tech competition bills

Categories Biometric R&D  |  Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes

The Security Industry Association (SIA) is voicing its support and feedback for two U.S. bills in Congress that aim to jumpstart America’s technological competitiveness in fields like biometrics, AI, supply chains, education, and semiconductors with billions in funding.

In a letter to U.S. legislative leadership on both sides of the partisan aisle, the SIA laid out recommendations to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), and the America COMPETES Act of 2022 that are currently in both chambers of Congress. Legislators are seeking to reconcile the two bills that will offer billions in funding total to advance U.S. science and technology R&D and contend with China’s rapid pace of development.

The SIA also provided its analysis of the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021, saying a portion of the $550 billion could go towards biometrics investments in airports and smart cities.

With regards to biometrics, the SIA says it supports the America COMPETES Act’s sections 10226-10227, which include National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reauthorization and biometrics testing. The association also expressed its support for the USICA’s amendment of “data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies and cybersecurity, including biometrics.”

The SIA reiterated its previous letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris urging the administration and Congress to “consider policies that enable American leadership in developing biometric technologies.” The SIA also sent a letter to congressional leadership it says recommended how SIA members can build public trust surrounding the use of facial recognition technology; issued policy principles for the commercial sector, government agencies, and law enforcement on ethical and responsible use of facial recognition; showed comprehensive public polling on support of facial recognition use across specific applications; and a list of successful uses of the biometric.

“The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and the America COMPETES Act promote valuable investments in supply chain resiliency measures and federal R&D in areas like biometrics, AI and machine learning – emerging technologies that have a robust array of applications in security and life safety,” comments SIA CEO Don Erickson. “We encourage members of the House and Senate to reconcile some of the significant differences between these two pieces of legislation and work in a bipartisan manner to produce meaningful investments needed to reinforce the United States as the leader in developing cutting-edge technologies that impact our society and security.”

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