Imagine the IRS sitting on a vast database of unique voiceprints collected from millions of citizens.
That’s basically what happened in the U.K., but at least the country has an agency to fix the problem. The U.S. has no such safeguard — and one of its agencies has already started collecting face scans.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs office (HMRC) has been instructing customers to submit “voiceprints” since 2017, and it may not have received proper consent to do so.
Now, the nation’s data protection enforcement agency, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has filed an official order that the HMRC must delete the Voice ID data of 7 million citizens. It has 28 days to comply with the May 9 order.
In the U.S., government agencies are also collecting biometric data. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) is scanning the faces of individuals leaving the country. It says the images are encrypted, and only stored for a short time. But experts worry that introducing facial recognition technology at airports could turn them into tools of mass surveillance. That could lead to unlawful arrests, which would disproportionately affect women and people of color, who facial recognition softw
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