FBI Grilled On Extent Of Its Facial Recognition ProgramAccording to a comprehensive report released last year by researchers at Georgetown Law, roughly half of all Americans have their photos accessible by a law enforcement face recognition system. The report found that 16 states grant the FBI free access to driver’s license photos for its Next Generation Identification and Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation (FACE) photo-searching systems. The House Oversight Committee also recently learned that two additional states — Arizona and Maryland — have been added, bringing the total to 18 states.
Lawmakers express anger and horror over the agency's face recognition system, which now has unfettered accesses to ID photos in 18 states
The hearing’s panelists quickly concurred that even if the FBI doesn’t directly control some of the photo databases, it can still easily access them with no independent oversight. Agreements with the Department of Motor Vehicles in 18 states currently allow the agency’s face-matching system to freely access residents’ driver’s license photos in order to conduct virtually unlimited face recognition searches, according to Alvaro Bedoya, a surveillance researcher who sat on the panel, and a coauthor of the Georgetown Law face recognition report.
“Who owns and operates a database matters a lot less than who uses it and how it’s used,” Bedoya said.
Jennifer Lynch, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that Del Greco’s statement is false, noting the FBI repository does in fact include the photos of people not suspected of any crime. She referred to a section of the Georgetown report, which is based on FBI documents showing that photos of non-criminals comprise roughly 16% of the FBI’s NGI database.
An FBI spokesperson did not respond to Vocativ’s request for comment.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
If You Live In One of These States...
...the FBI has YOUR FACE on file for use in its facial recognition system, FACE.