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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Government Accountability Office said in a new report Tuesday that federal law enforcement agencies need to track use of facial recognition technology more closely to better protect privacy.

Why it matters: Use of face-recognition tech is becoming more widespread within the federal government, with 20 out of 42 federal agencies that employ law enforcement officers using it.

By the numbers: 10 of the agencies, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, reported using Clearview AI, a controversial private facial recognition provider.

According to the GAO, the Postal Service used Clearview to help identify people suspected of stealing mail, opening mail, burglarizing buildings and setting fire during protests.

  • U.S. Capitol Police said they used Clearview to help "generate investigative leads" following the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6.

What's next: The GAO found that 13 agencies don't track the non-federal facial recognition systems their employees are using.

  • "These agencies have therefore not fully assessed the potential risks of using these systems, such as risks related to privacy and accuracy," the GAO said.
  • The report recommends that the agencies develop a mechanism for tracking use of non-federal systems so they will "have better visibility into the technologies they rely upon to conduct criminal investigations."

Go deeper: Clearview brings privacy concerns from facial recognition into focus

Go deeper

Some Black leaders eye talks with police organizations

San Diego Police officer Ben Kelso, 53, talks with resident O.J. Phillips. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

A Black Baptist minister is pushing for Black communities to engage directly with police organizations on criminal justice reform — a counter to progressive groups urging radical changes.

Why it matters: Homicide rates are soaring across the country and some civil rights advocates fear they'll lose momentum on fighting systemic racism if they don't include police in reform efforts.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.