On September 11, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intention to significantly expand both the number of people required to submit biometrics during routine immigration applications and the types of biometrics that individuals must surrender. This new rule will apply to immigrants and U.S. citizens alike, and to people of all ages, including, for the first time, children under the age of 14. It would nearly double the number of people from whom DHS would collect biometrics each year, to more than six million. The biometrics DHS plans to collect include palm prints, voice prints, iris scans, facial imaging, and even DNA—which are far more invasive than DHS’s current biometric collection of fingerprints, photographs, and signatures.
It’s very easy these days to claim that something is bad for Big Tech and therefore good for everyone else. In the case of copyright, the claim is that requiring tech companies to do more to fight copyright infringement will help artists and force tech to be accountable. But all of us who spend time online know that this is wrong. We know that, when it comes to copyright, it is not Big Tech on one side, creators on the other.
Copyright filters, like YouTube’s Content ID, cause creators to lose money, creative freedom, and audiences. Copyright takedowns can be abused for harassment, extortion, or censorship. What creators need is not more copyright enforcement by Big Tech. While many of us who go online understand that, Congress often does not. That is why we need you to stand up and say the draft Digital Copyright Act would be a disaster for online creativity.