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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The latest and greatest tool for law enforcement has an existential problem.

Driving the news: A major federal study found "Asian and African American people were up to 100 times as likely to be misidentified than white men," per the Washington Post. It also found "high error rates for 'one-to-one' searches of Asians, African Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders."

Why it matters: The study confirms what independent researchers have long known — but the messenger matters, Axios' Kaveh Waddell says.

  • The Trump administration has put the National Institute of Standards and Technology in charge of new federal standards for AI, and some lawmakers have proposed having it audit controversial algorithms before they can be put to use.
  • The latest findings could be used to obstruct the rollout of AI found to be biased.

The big picture: Law enforcement is rapidly adopting facial recognition technology.

  • "The FBI alone has logged more than 390,000 facial-recognition searches of state driver's license records and other federal and local databases since 2011," the Post notes.

The bottom line: People of color are more likely to distrust facial recognition technology used for policing Axios' Orion Rummler reported this fall.

  • Pew found that 61% of white Americans trust the police to use the technology responsibly versus 56% of Hispanic Americans and 43% of black Americans.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Airlines, unions want DOJ to prosecute unruly passengers

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A coalition of airline industry partners asked the Justice Department on Monday to begin prosecuting disruptive passengers.

Why it matters: Increased political divisions and conflict over pandemic guidelines have led the Federal Aviation Administration to take some form of enforcement action over 400 times in the first five months of 2021, compared to 146 in all of 2019, according to the coalition.

California to pay off unpaid rent accrued during COVID-19 pandemic

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California will pay off the accumulated unpaid rent that has piled up during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The move would fulfill a promise to landlords to help them to break even, while giving renters relief, the AP writes.