Ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? That weird feeling on the back of your neck that makes you feel uncomfortable……
You may not be imagining things…….
It’s no secret that American law has been building facial recognition databases to aide in its investigations. But a new, comprehensive report on the status of facial recognition as a tool in law enforcement shows the sheer scope and reach of the FBI’s database of faces and those of state-level law enforcement agencies: Roughly half of American adults are included in those collections. And that massive assembly of biometric data is accessed with only spotty oversight of its accuracy and how it’s used and searched.
The 150-page report, released on Tuesday by the Center for Privacy & Technology at the Georgetown University law school, found that law enforcement databases now include the facial recognition information of 117 million Americans, about one in two U.S. adults. It goes on to outline the dangers to privacy, free speech, and protections against unreasonable search and seizure that come from unchecked use of that information. Currently the report finds that at least a quarter of all local and state police departments have access to a facial recognition database—either their own or another agency’s—and law enforcement in more than half of all states can search against the trove of photos stored for IDs like drivers’ licenses.
But do not fret…….it is for you own safety.
Described by the report’s authors as “unprecedented and highly problematic,” linked databases containing photographs acquired from driver’s licenses, government IDs and mug shots have provided federal, state and local law agencies with the images of about 48 percent of America’s adult population, according to the report.
Databases maintained by the FBI historically have included the biometric information of individuals associated with criminal activity, but those systems in recent years have been linked with the driver’s license photo databases of 16 states and counting. Following a yearlong investigation and a review of more than 100 records requests, the authors of the report wrote that these systems are highly unregulated and officially “out of control.”
Do you really think that all this is for your own safety?
If so then you probably already own a bridge in Brooklyn.
NOTE: Starting Monday with 2 weeks left before the election…I will be hitting the vote in a full court press…..just in case you would prefer reality TV……
Enjoy your weekend my friends…….chuq