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FBI launches $1 billion face recognition project
Sep 11th, 2012 by Xarah

FBI’s New Facial Recognition Program Leaves No Place to Hide

fbi-face-recognition-2014-275x171The FBI has announced a plan to spend $1 billion to build a new type of facial recognition database that will allow the agency to identify suspects and people of interest using security footage from public cameras.

Technically, the Next-Generation Identification program (NGI) is an update to the FBI’s national fingerprint database. Government agencies will now start using a person’s face, along with other biometric data like DNA analysis, iris scans, and voice identification, to determine a person’s identity. In other words, if you have a criminal record, the police will no longer simply take your fingerprints and snap a mugshot; they’ll keep a record accurate enough to let them pick you out of crowd anywhere you go.

The program is already operational as a pilot program in select areas, and the FBI says NGI will be ready for use nationally in 2014. As of now, the system is only able to identify suspects with a criminal history, but other types of government photos (like Drivers’ Licenses) could be added to the system by the time it’s fully operational.

Though privacy advocates have indicated that the ability to secretly track people’s movement constitutes a violation of civil liberties, the FBI claims the program is legal under guidelines established by the U.S. Privacy Act. My advice? Start wearing a baseball cap.

[via New Scientist]

Source: http://mashable.com/2012/09/09/fbi-facial-recognition/

That’s really scary! Another thought I had: where does the money the FBI has to spend come from? From the people I would guess. So they pay an institution that is supposed to protect the majority from a minority and yet the majority gets spied on.

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