The Biden Administration has demonstrated over the last few years complete jurisdiction over AI regulation.

New AI policies will be another defining feature of Biden’s premiership, developed by the DHS Artificial Intelligence Task Force, to continue their commitment to managing boundless AI innovation with the associated risks. The government has initiated a directive towards the CBP around the use of facial recognition technology.

With the CBP and government’s interaction completely by design over technologies like AI and biometrics, the latest AI warning has led to the internal hiring of CBP’s First Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. Confirmed to be Chief Information Officer (CIO) Eric Hysen, his role will promote AI innovation and safety within the Department, along with advising the Department leadership on AI issues.

The use of AI technologies is embedded within CBP operations including for passenger security screening to advance its missions – combatting fentanyl trafficking, strengthening supply chain security, countering child sexual exploitation, and protecting critical infrastructure.

Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security described artificial intelligence as a powerful tool that must be harnessed “effectively and responsibly” and balanced by proper regulation that holds the CBP accountable and allows Americans to decline undergoing face scans at airports and in other situations.

He added that the department is obliged to “keep pace with this rapidly evolving technology” and do so in a way that is “transparent and respectful of the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of everyone we serve”.

“I am grateful that Eric Hysen, who already co-chairs our Artificial Intelligence Task Force, has agreed to serve as our Department’s first Chief AI Officer, providing the leadership and experience necessary to harness AI’s enormous potential and ensure its responsible use across DHS.”.

No airport or travel process, however machine-led with artificial intelligence, should completely eliminate manual audits.

The policy statement 139-06 establishes the foundation for DHS’s use of AI with a clear set of principles not to collect, use or disseminate data used in AI activities.

The rules will mandate human reviews and thorough testing of automated biometric systems and afford the right to opt-out of face recognition for non-law enforcement uses.