Thanks to America's obsession with posting their entire life in FACEBOOK the FBI now has a massive face-recognition program that can search more than 411,900,000 of faces. There are only 322,762,018 Americans living in the United States. To add to the government's FACEBOOK database the FBI also uses driver’s license, visa and passport databases, according the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
A new report by the government watchdog agency released Wednesday gives an unprecedented look at the scale of the FBI’s facial recognition programs.
The report criticizes the FBI for not giving the public adequate information about the programs and their privacy implications, as required under the 1974 federal Privacy Act.
Isn't it great that the government is using taxpayer money to better enslave every man, woman, and child in America. They will of course trot out the old tired...
"We're doing this for YOUR own safety..."
The FBI is doing this for our safety like a farmer keeping his cows in a pen. It's not for the cows safety, it so that the cows are unable to flee when the butcher arrives.
The FBI has an internal unit called Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation (FACE). In addition to accessing the FBI’s known Next Generation Identification (NGI) database of almost 30 million mugshots and civil photos, FACE can search photos stored in other federal and state databases.
It includes access to the Department of State’s database of passport and visa applications, and driver’s license databases for 16 states. Currently, the FBI is negotiating with 18 additional states to access their databases.
Last month, the FBI asked that its database be exempt from some parts of the Privacy Act. Big surprise that a government agency wants to be above the law. The NGI program also collects other biometric data including fingerprints and iris scans. Outside law enforcement agencies can also request searches of the database.
GAO recommended the Attorney General look into why required privacy impact reports were not published by the FBI. As if that will stop the FBI from doing whatever it wants. It also asked the FBI to conduct tests on the system to determine its accuracy and false positive rates, hold annual reviews of the NGI system and audit each database used by the FACE system to determine if they’re accurate enough for FBI searches. Go ahead and hold your breath and when the FBI becomes compliant I'll tell you to exhale. I would, however, recommend that you notify your next of kin, because hell will freeze over, before a government agency will submit to public scrutiny and transparency.
In its reply to the report, the Department of Justice said any photos returned as possible matches are not considered positive identification, and are not sufficient to warrant action on their own. It’s only used for “investigative leads,” according to the DoJ. Yeah, and any day now Hillary Clinton is going to plead guilty out a sense of public good.
So, the moral of the story is don't put EVERY photo you ever took online and expect to be able to disappear into the sunset.