Feds Refused To Deploy AI Facial Recognition Over Racism

Feds Refused To Deploy AI Facial Recognition Over Racism

(RightWing.org) – Woke federal officials refused to use facial recognition technology because they believed it was racist — then LIED and claimed it was securing a key website. Now lawmakers from both parties are slamming the bureaucrats.

The US government provides a lot of its services online, and anyone accessing them needs to be able to log in securely. In 2016, the General Services Administration (GSA) started work on Login.gov, a portal that would let people access a range of federal services through a single login page.

Obviously, it had to be secure, so officials were told to make sure it used multi-factor authentication to prevent hackers and criminals from logging in to a legitimate citizen’s account. Standards issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) state that where it’s impossible to physically check someone’s identity — such as when logging in to a website — biometric security like facial recognition must be used to get the Identity Assurance Level 2 (IAL 2) certification the project required.

Unfortunately, woke officials led by GSA technology director Dave Zvenyach decided facial recognition might not be “equitable,” so they decided not to include the technology. In June 2021, Zvenyach wrote in a memo the benefits of facial recognition do “not outweigh any discriminatory impact,” so it shouldn’t be used.

Zvenyach then decided that, instead of trying to find an alternative way to make sure people really were who they said they were, GSA should simply tell everyone Login.gov met the IAL 2 standard — even though it didn’t. He never notified other government agencies that GSA had abandoned facial recognition.

On March 7, the GSA Inspector General’s Office issued a scathing report on the scandal. It found that GSA officials — with Zvenyach prominently mentioned — had misled customers about Login.gov’s security levels. Last week, at a congressional inquiry into GSA’s deception, Representative Kewisi Mfune (D-MD) called it “very disconcerting.” Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ) asked if anyone is being prosecuted. The answer was no — despite GSA billing $10 million for IAL 2 services that weren’t actually used.

Zvenyach quit the GSA last August while the scam was being investigated. When he announced his resignation, GSA administrator Robin Carnahan claimed he had made “invaluable contributions to GSA’s mission.” In fact, he was deliberately weakening government security and then hiding what he’d done.

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