On July 7, 2019, the Washington Post reported that FBI and ICE agents have been accessing state driver’s license databases with facial recognition software, enabling both to rifle through millions of photos without the consent or knowledge of those photographed. While this is certainly troubling, facial recognition software is also making inroads with CBP, TSA, and the Secret Service. TSA, for instance, is running a pilot program whereby it uses the technology as a substitute for review of an individual’s passport and boarding pass.
While there are certainly concerns over the constitutionality of some of these uses of facial recognition technically, individuals who are not lawfully in the United States may be particularly impacted if they reside in states that issue photo identification to undocumented immigrants. In such cases, the undocumented immigrant’s photo could be accessed and scanned by various federal agencies, including ICE.