FB pixel

White House AI policy a ‘seismic policy shift’ for biometrics developers and vendors

White House AI policy a ‘seismic policy shift’ for biometrics developers and vendors

The World Privacy Forum (WPF) has logged its first impressions of the White House’s new AI policy, with a focus on biometric use cases. In language published as a blog post and a downloadable document, Executive Director Pam Dixon says the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum “provides an extensive and in some ways surprising articulation of emergent guardrails around modern AI.”

The OMB memorandum lays out minimum practices for “Safety-impacting and rights-impacting Artificial Intelligence.” According to the Forum’s analysis, guidance on biometric deployments is a noteworthy trend. “The biometric use case runs as a thread throughout the memorandum,” says the WPF. “For example, biometrics is expressly discussed in the memorandum’s section on responsible procurement. This section requires the government to assess when or if biometric information was collected without consent, was collected for other purposes originally, or was collected without validation of identity.”

In an explanatory fact sheet released in tandem with the OMB memorandum, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) gets a special mention for its use of facial recognition in airports. The WPF underlines the White House’s statement that “when at the airport, travelers will have the ability to opt out from the use of TSA facial recognition without any delay or losing their place in line.” This, says the Forum, is “a clear call to every biometric developer, vendor, deployer, and end user that a seismic policy shift has taken place.”

“If biometrics will be used, nonconsensual training data will be a problem as will bias, untested or unvalidated systems. An initial and ongoing in-depth AI Impact Assessment is required.” Rules are rules, says the WPF, and this new set will cause significant disruptions in how biometrics providers conduct business across the U.S. federal government.

The WPF’s assessment comes off as mostly laudatory, in saying that “the memorandum’s statement of how biometrics should be deployed in Federal use cases is by far the most assertive, clear, and direct articulation of biometric governance by the U.S. government to date.” Indeed, “it may potentially be the most astute articulation of biometric governance in regards to AI-specific requirements and guardrails applicable to a national government anywhere to date.”

The authors of the EU AI Act might beg to differ. But, “regardless of extra-territorial comparisons,” the memorandum “sets a critically important and improved precedent in this aspect of AI governance, and will make inappropriate uses of biometrics by the U.S. Federal government or the procurement of unethically sourced or unverified biometric systems extremely difficult to support going forward.”

The White House has set a deadline of December 2024 for government agencies to have implemented the safeguards laid out in the memorandum.

Related Posts

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


HHS removes Login.gov from grantee payment system after cyberattack

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has removed Login.gov from its grantee payment platform after a security breach…


City of Clemson pilots Intellicheck ID verification to prevent underage drinking

Identity verification provider Intellicheck and the city of Clemson have launched a 12 month pilot program that uses identity verification…


Rumors of liveness detection’s defeat have been greatly exaggerated

Photo and video face filters are perhaps the most mainstream use case for augmented reality –  and an illustrative test…


Companies House takes new measures to fraud fight, but not biometric IDV

Companies House, the UK’s business registry, has begun rolling out new tools to fight fraud and help cleanse the register…


Mitek: quarterlies, annuals, SEC actions

April 4, 2024 – Mitek is getting back on track with its financial reporting, which may be more reflective of the…


Jamaica parliament soon to receive draft digital ID regulation for scrutiny

Plans are being finalized to send the draft regulation on Jamaica’s digital ID program to the country’s parliament for examination…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read From This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events