Army Testing Facial Recognition in Child-Care Centers

deepfake AI

Army looking for AI to layer over daycare CCTV to boost ‘family quality of life.’

Live video feeds of daycare centers are common, but the Army wants to take their kid-monitoring capabilities to the next level.

Under a new pilot program being rolled out at a Fort Jackson, S.C. child-care center, the military is looking for service providers to layer commercially available facial recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) over existing closed-circuit television video feeds to improve childcare and cut costs.

The request for bids on the project, called Installations of the Future: Technology Pilot for Child Development Center, explained that the CCTV feeds aren’t constantly monitored by humans and the pilot program will explore whether AI could fill in the gaps.

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“Video analytic software provides the added security of continual computer monitoring used as an addition to the human CCTV monitoring,” the request for bid said. “Moreover, it provides instant notifications to staff on a wide range of important AR 190-3 monitoring parameters as events occur.”

AI to Monitor Health and Well-Being?

The solicitation for contract laid out nebulous objectives to “monitor the health and well-being of children” at the childcare center.

The paperwork did detail cybersecurity parameters, which includes an interconnection agreement, adherence to the Department of Defense cybersecurity regulations and a requirement that any data stored be encrypted.

Other requirements include following the Security Technical Guides (STIGs), submission to Static Application Security Testing (SAST) for source code analysis, and an obligation to provide patching and mitigation support.

Facial-recognition software has regularly come under fire by security professionals and privacy advocates alike. Not only have facial-recognition algorithms been easily fooled, they’ve been decried as a privacy nightmare by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued to the Department of Homeland Security in March 2020 over its use of facial recognition in airports. Just months later, Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.), both Democrats, introduced the National Biometric Information Privacy Act in an effort to curb the government’s ability to collect peoples’ biometric data.

The Fort Jackson pilot program is scheduled to run for a year, according to the request for bids. Designs are due in 120 days and should be installed and operational within 8 months, the schedule said. Bids on the job are due Sept 10.

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