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Is Facial Recognition the New Fingerprinting?


Is Facial Recognition the New Fingerprinting—or Something Much Worse?

State DMVs are building a vast national digital identification database for federal law enforcement.

by Ronald Bailey

Your face is your ID (Ekkasit Keatsirikul/Dreamstime)

Federal law enforcement agencies have been using facial recognition technology to mine state driver's license databases for information, reports the Washington Post. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) simply email requests to state departments of motor vehicle registration, asking them to match suspects' faces with those collected and stored in their driver's license databases. Generally speaking, state bureaucrats have been happy to cooperate.

The Government Accountability Office recently revealed that the FBI can scan about 640 million pictures, including not just mugshots but driver's licenses and passport photos. At a congressional oversight committee hearing last month, Rep. Jim Jordan (R–Ohio) observed that many state's DMVs "have just given access to that to the FBI. No individual signed off on that when they renewed their driver's license, got their driver's licenses. They didn't sign any waiver saying, 'Oh, it's OK to turn my information, my photo, over to the FBI.' No elected officials voted for that to happen."

Read more: https://reason.com/2019/07/08/is-facial-recognition-the-new-fingerprinting-or-something-much-worse/