Trump’s Homeland Security Team Likely to Emphasize Facial Recognition and Biometric Surveillance
Unrestricted and relentless against anyone not a fan.
The backgrounds of the members of the team that President-elect Donald Trump is picking to shape the Department of Homeland Security suggests he will aggressively pursue surveillance using the latest technological advancements.
Trump, on the campaign trail, suggested that his law-and-order agenda would include mass surveillance of certain targets. “I want surveillance of certain mosques,” Trump declared at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama. “I want surveillance,” he added, “I will absolutely take [sic] database on the people coming in from Syria.”
If his personnel choices are any indication, Trump’s Homeland Security Department will favor a range of technological solutions, including threat-detection algorithms, facial-recognition technology, and an expansion of “verifiable” identity solutions both in real life and online.
Several people on Trump’s transition team are linked to a firm called Safran, a French defense contractor that has marketed expansive facial recognition and biometric software for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. As The Intercept previously reported, Morpho, a division of Safran, has touted a “Google” style search tool for capturing and storing the identities of potential terrorists using facial recognition technology. The concept has been criticized by privacy experts for denying due process rights to those ensnared in the terrorist database for simply having certain facial features.