ACLU Files Public Comment Opposing Trump’s Proposed Rule to Drastically Expand Biometric Collection from Immigrants and U.S. Citizens

October 13, 2020 6:15 pm

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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a public comment today opposing the Trump administration’s proposed rule to greatly expand biometric collection from people applying for or sponsoring immigration benefits. The rule would expand the government’s collection of immigrants’ and U.S. citizens’ biometrics and personal information to include eye scans, voiceprints, DNA, and photographs for facial recognition, among other information.

Below is a response from Vera Eidelman, staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and technology Project:

“The Trump administration’s proposed rule would massively expand the government’s collection of sensitive biometric identifiers from immigrants, their families, U.S. citizens, and their communities out of all proportion to any justifiable need. It would compound the hardships of going through the immigration process and endanger the privacy and expressive rights of millions.

“Requiring such unprecedented collection of personal information from immigrants and U.S. citizens who sponsor them would create a massive database of our faces, eyes, and voices, not to mention genetic blueprints. This would grant the government an unprecedented power to surveil people’s movements — throughout and even after they’ve gone through the immigration process — and make it easier for the government to surveil and target immigrant communities and communities of color. The administration must stop normalizing forced biometric collection and rescind the proposed rule immediately.”

The ACLU’s comments are available here:

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