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FBI Facial Recognition Coming To An Airport Near You

Over the last two years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has quietly been developing facial recognition software. Unbeknownst to the majority of American people the FBI recently started rolling out this software across the country. The technology will allow law enforcement to recognize individuals without their knowledge. However, lawmakers across the country are beginning to take a stand against what many believe to be invasive technology. There is a deep mistrust across the nation in the FBI’s ability to protect the information they collect and these recent measures only worsen the situation. The reality that this technology was rolled out without any sort of announcement or acknowledgment has many people feeling uneasy. This failure to notify the public of a personal data collecting measure directly infringes upon regulation that mandates that any such software should be listed on the country’s Privacy Impact Assessment.

The Software 

The primary purpose of this new facial recognition software is to allow FBI officials to quickly match the image of a suspect to the correct individual. They will be able to input a photo into their database and have it instantaneously compared with millions of others. Once this process is complete the facial recognition software will produce up to 50 individuals that are potential matches. The FBI has announced that they will also make this software available to state law enforcement agencies. Florida was one of the first states to request access.

Can You Trust It? 

To date, there is not enough information regarding the newly developed software and exactly how it works. The FBI is not exactly jumping to reveal the details of what goes on behind the scenes, but they have reassured the public that their information will be safe. The FBI claims that their system produces the correct match approximately 85 percent of the time, however, real-world application of the software will likely prove to be more difficult.

Congress recently questioned the FBI on just how accurate the software will be. Various members of Congress pointed out that the software appeared to have a larger amount of false matches when searching for an African-American individual. Essentially, they are pointing out that when being put through the software, African-Americans have a higher chance of coming up in a search, and coming up incorrectly. This information is only further increasing the distrust the public has in the FBI and the organization’s ability to appropriately use the software.

One of the biggest concerns individuals have voiced about this facial recognition software is the potential for it to be used to track people in real time. This could potentially be achieved through the syncing of the software with surveillance systems across the country. If this were to occur, the practice would quickly lead to a slippery slope where government misuse would almost be certain. Detractors of the software point out just how close this software is to a “Big Brother” like culture. However, law enforcement holds that it will only be used to quickly and efficiently track down suspects.

Do You Have Questions?

The news of this software is unsettling for many Americans, particularly individuals who are currently under criminal investigation. If you have been charged with a crime and have questions about how this software may affect your case contact the Law Office of Gilbert Schaffnit in Florida. In the ever changing legal landscape it is critical that you remain knowledgeable of the best way to protect your freedom. Do not delay; call 352-378-6593 for a free initial phone consultation.

Resources:

dhs.gov/privacy-impact-assessments

theverge.com/2017/4/18/15332742/us-border-biometric-exit-facial-recognition-scanning-homeland-security

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