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GSA Seeks to Determine How Demographics Affect Identity Verification Solutions

Facial recognition

GSA Seeks to Determine How Demographics Affect Identity Verification Solutions

The General Services Administration intends to conduct a study to evaluate the impact of demographic variables on the effectiveness of biometric and non-biometric identity proofing solutions such as facial recognition. The agency will work with identity proofing vendors for the study, whose results will be released in a peer-reviewed publication.

The GSA will also partner with a recruitment agency to get public participants from whom demographic and personally identifiable information will be collected. The GSA has already submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget for a review of the information collection requirement but has at the same time sought public feedback regarding the effort and whether collecting such information is necessary or useful. Interested parties have until Nov. 21 to submit comments, Nextgov reported.

The GSA had already intended to do an equity study on identity proofing technology earlier this year. In April, the agency issued a request for information announcing its plan to determine whether facial recognition would be able to meet equity standards should it be implemented on Login .gov, the U.S. government’s single sign-on service. The GSA intended to release the results of the study in 2023.

Facial recognition, however, is already in use by the government, as in the case of Customs and Border Protection, which was recently called out by the Government Accountability Office in connection with the biometric technology. According to the GAO, CBP had failed to inform travelers at airports about its use of facial recognition. The GAO did laud the CBP, however, for having made progress in upholding privacy principles vis-a-vis facial recognition since a similar audit in 2020.

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Category: Federal Civilian