Rep. Ro Khanna Seeks ‘Clear Ethical Guidelines’ for Biometrics Use

Rep. Ro Khanna

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., is calling on Congress to mandate federal agencies’ implementation of “clear ethical guidelines” for using biometric technologies to ensure that constitutional rights are protected, Nextgov reported Wednesday.

He also recommended that Congress establish a task force comprised of industry and academic professionals to inform the development of standards aimed at ensuring that biometric systems are not used with discriminatory intent or for profiling activities. In addition, Khanna said the government should terminate the use of biometric technologies that “have a disparate impact” on race, gender or religion until the ethical guidelines are implemented.

“I think there should be a federal standard,” he noted. “But it has to be a thoughtful one. And it can’t just be a reflexive standard that doesn’t have sufficient input.”

Khanna’s comments come after Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., urged the Transportation Security Administration to stop its pilot facial recognition program until formal regulations are implemented.

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