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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

2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Rail's big moment is arriving

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Passenger rail could be the big winner if Congress moves ahead with President Biden's ambitious infrastructure plan.

Why it matters: There's long been bipartisan support for rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure, but under Biden, the focus has shifted to sustainable projects that fulfill both his climate and equity goals, such as rail transit.

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

9 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.