Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., has requested that the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division investigate “whether the uses of facial recognition technology – as currently utilized – by law enforcement agencies are in violation of civil rights protections.”  In a letter to assistant attorney general John Gore yesterday, Cleaver noted the potential benefits of facial recognition technology, but also the potential for monitoring and racial inequities depending on how the technology is used. “A growing body of evidence suggests that these technologies have the potential to exacerbate and entrench existing policing disparities along racial lines,” Cleaver wrote. “As consequential as the technology may be, it is my continued hope that the pursuit of justice does not progress by means of coinciding with injustice.”

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