US Postal Service Moves To Escape Facial Recognition Suit

Law360 (October 22, 2021, 6:46 PM EDT) — The U.S. Postal Service is asking a D.C. federal judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging its use of facial recognition and other technologies to collect personal information, saying a privacy watchdog lacks standing because it hasn’t shown how the organization was harmed.

The Postal Service argued in its Oct. 19 dismissal motion that the Electronic Privacy Information Center cannot seek a cease-and-desist order to suspend the Internet Covert Operations Program, or iCOP, which provides open-source intelligence on individuals and organizations to support the service’s law-enforcement unit’s investigations.

EPIC alleged in August that the iCOP program is procedurally defective because the Postal Service failed to first conduct a privacy impact assessment as required under some circumstances by the E-Government Act of 2002. But the Postal Service shot back that because the watchdog and its members suffered no injury sufficient to establish standing to sue, the district court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction and dismissal is therefore warranted.


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