Press Releases

CAIR Decries ICE’s Use of Facial Recognition to Analyze Driver’s License Photos Without Consent

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/8/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed deep concern about reports that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) mined state driver’s license databases in three states using facial recognition technology without the knowledge or consent of license holders.

According to Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, ICE officials accessed and analyzed millions of drivers’ photos in Utah, Vermont and Washington state.

SEE: ICE Used Facial Recognition to Mine State Driver’s License Databases  

“ICE’s use of driver’s license databases — without the knowledge or consent of the license holders — is a dangerous abuse of government power. When someone applies for a driver’s license, they are not consenting to sharing their personal information with federal immigration agents,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Facial recognition technology is riddled with racial and gender bias and it should not be used by any government agency to target marginalized communities.”

Hooper also called on state legislatures across the country to pass laws to specifically prohibit the practice.

Last month, CAIR-NY launched an anti-surveillance project to educate New Yorkers about the prevalence and methods of surveillance and empower the public through community organizing for common-sense safeguards and civic engagement specifically focused on ending abusive surveillance practices targeting immigrant, persons of color, and Muslim communities.

SEE: CAIR-NY Launches Anti-Surveillance Project

VISIT: The Anti-Surveillance Project of NY – A CAIR-NY Project

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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