HR Policy Provides Comments to White House on AI-Enabled Biometric Technologies in the Workplace

By Chatrane Birbal posted 01-21-2022 10:45


As scrutiny of AI intensifies, HR Policy Association submitted comments to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, (OSTP) providing insight on practices for systems design, procurement, ethics, approval of use, human or civil rights frameworks, and assessments and strategies to mitigate the potential harm of biometric technologies.

HR Policy offered the following comments to OSTP:

  • Many employers utilize AI-powered tools to augment recruitment of job candidates, increasing efficiency while helping ensure diverse qualified candidates are considered;

  • Large employers are committed to the prevention of bias in the workplace, and use cases for AI in the workplace vary widely. If not implemented and used responsibly, artificial intelligence has the potential to produce adverse outcomes and negate diversity efforts;

  • A “one-size-fits-all” approach to overseeing AI, including use of biometric information, may inadvertently expose workers to risk;

  • New guidelines or standards developed by OSTP should align with existing government policies and commonly adopted employer best practices;

  • There are existing federal and state regulations relating to anti-discrimination, labor laws, data privacy, and AI-specific legislation that already impact the use of the technology in the employment context; and

  • The White House should continue to engage with stakeholders in developing policies on AI-enabled biometric technologies, including HR leaders and the regulated community.

Outlook: OSTP’s request for information aims to gain a better understanding of how biometric technologies are being used across the government and the private sector. Feedback via submitted comments will be used to develop a Bill of Rights for an automated society, which is expected this year. Although this process is still at a very early stage, the Bill of Rights will provide a basis for the adoption of additional requirements for developers and users of AI and biometrics.