A Jan. 12 press release from the agency said it added “457 CAT-2 upgrade kits utilizing the facial recognition technology” in 2023. The government’s growing embrace of facial recognition technology — for law enforcement purposes and for verifying IDs — has united some Democrats and Republicans in opposition to its expansion. John Kennedy, R-La., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. — introduced legislation in November 2023 that would ban TSA from using facial recognition and would repeal its authority to test the technology. “It’s very troubling how quickly TSA is expanding its use of facial recognition,” Merkley told Nextgov/FCW in a statement. As technology becomes more advanced, however, the head of the TSA and other experts view the wide adoption of facial recognition as inevitable.