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“A growing number of Americans are OK with the facial recognition technology, especially if it increases public safety, according to a national survey released Monda,” Frank Konkel writes for Nextgov. “Conducted on a national poll of 3,151 U.S. adults in December, the survey found only one in four Americans believe the federal government should strictly limit the use of facial biometrics technology.”

“The survey also indicates Americans are more likely to support any apparent tradeoff to their own privacy caused by facial recognition technology if it benefits law enforcement, reduces shoplifting or speeds up airport security lines,” Konkel writes. “Only 18 percent of those polled said they agreed with strict limitations on facial recognition tech if it comes at the expense of public safety, compared to 55 percent who disagreed with such limitations.”

“The findings indicate a potential shift in public thinking. A September 2018 study by the Brookings Institution found half of Americans favored limitations of the use of facial recognition by law enforcement, while 42 percent felt it invaded personal privacy rights,” Konkel writes. “Meanwhile, the federal government’s use of facial recognition technologies has itself increased in recent months. In August, the Washington Dulles International Airport became the first U.S. airport to catch an alleged imposter with its new biometric cameras. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has since apprehended 26 alleged imposters at airports as of November and points of entry using the technology.”

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