Big Tech uses our own bodies — including our faces, voices, and fingerprints — to track our every move and learn some of our most personal details, all so they can make a profit. The Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA) would return that power to the people.

Private companies are free to use our biometric identifiers, such as our voices, facial features, and fingerprints, to track our movements and profit from our most personal information. The power to utilize personal, biometric information should rest with the people, not corporations. Mainers deserve to choose what information they share, if any at all, and know that the information they do share is safely stored and used only as intended.


Private companies are exploiting our most sensitive information without our consent. Without legislative action, these companies could open the floodgates for unfettered surveillance, expose Mainers’ private information to hackers, arbitrarily deny access to businesses, and discriminate against people of color and transgender Mainers.


Governments, individuals, and companies can purchase information collected about us wherever we go, tracking our faces at protests, political rallies, places of worship, family planning clinics, and more.

Clearview AI collected biometric information and sold it to individuals, other companies, and government agencies. The ACLU sued under Illinois’ biometric privacy law, reaching a nationwide settlement stopping Clearview from continuing some of these practices — but that settlement won’t stop another company who does not operate in Illinois from doing the same. This could expose Mainers to stalkers, unaccountable government surveillance, and vigilantes.


Technology is not perfect and wrongly identifies people, with disastrous consequences. Any of us could be arbitrarily rejected from a business or have the police called on us for a crime we did not commit after facial recognition incorrectly identifies us. People of color and transgender people are the most likely to be wrongly identified, compounding the discrimination and harassment these Mainers already face.

  • A 2019 federal study found that Asian and Black people were up to 100 times more likely to be misidentified by facial recognition technology than white men.
  • Native Americans had the highest false-positive rate of all ethnicities.
  • Women were also more likely to be misidentified than men, and older people and children were more likely to be misidentified than people in other age groups.


Private companies can profit from taking our most personal information without even getting our consent to use it.


Maine lawmakers must pass LD 1705, the Biometric Information Protection Act, to implement guardrails on how companies collect, use, and store our private information. Sensible guardrails would protect our civil liberties—particularly for people of color and LGBTQ people who are most likely to be harmed by this technology—and give power back to the people to control their own information.

This legislation would protect Mainers’ privacy by creating guardrails on how companies can collect and use our personal biometric identifiers. LD 1705 would require companies to get consent before collecting biometric identifiers such as voices, fingerprints, and facial features. It would also ban companies from selling biometric data and set rules about how long they are able to keep it. Private companies could still develop and utilize new technologies, but Mainers would have the power to choose what, if any, information they share.

Maine has led the nation by protecting internet privacy and limiting government surveillance. We were the first state to reject REAL ID, a costly program that would jeopardize sensitive information. More recently, Maine lawmakers enacted a robust internet privacy protection law and strict limits of the government’s use of facial recognition technology. It’s time for Maine to lead again by implementing guardrails on how big Tech firms use and profit off our most personal information.


Representative Margaret O'Neil




The First Regular Session of the 131st Maine Legislature

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