EPIC Sues Postal Service to Halt Use of Facial Recognition, Social Media Monitoring
EPIC has filed a lawsuit against the U. S. Postal Service to block the use of facial recognition and social media monitoring tools underneath the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP). EPIC’ s case challenges the Postal Service’ s failure to conduct and publish the Privacy Impact Assessment mandated by the E-Government Act before procuring and using advanced surveillance systems under iCOP. EPIC is seeking a court order to block iCOP from using these tools at least until the Postal Service has conducted the required assessment. EPIC brought suit after the Postal Service did not locate a PIA in reaction to EPIC’ s Freedom of Information Act request . Under iCOP, law enforcement officials the U. S. Postal Inspection Service monitored protests in summer time of 2020 and spring of 2021 and used Clearview AI’ s controversial facial recognition product to recognize individuals. The iCOP’ s surveillance of protests and tracking of “ inflammatory” content goes far beyond the program’ s mandate to investigate fraud and other crimes perpetuated through the mail or USPS’ s internet site. EPIC has previously used the E-Government Act to block the deployment of a media surveillance platform by the Department of Homeland Security and to halt the collection of voter data by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.