Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, the nominee to run the U.S. Homeland Security Department, has strongly advocated using advanced security technology as a law enforcement tool, drawing praise from police and raising concern among civil liberties groups, USA Today reports. She has pushed state police to use cameras that scan license plates to find vehicles that are stolen or linked to a criminal suspect, promoted “face-identification” technology that could help cameras find wanted people by comparing someone’s face with a database of suspects, and made Arizona one of 12 states that collect and store DNA samples of people accused but not convicted of certain crimes.
“She sees technology as the panacea of all our law enforcement problems and immigration issues,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze of Arizona’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter. “It’s like she’s embracing these technologies without taking the time to appreciate the privacy implications.” If confirmed as Homeland Security secretary, Napolitano will have opportunities to deploy technology, including sensors along U.S. borders and airport body scanners that look for weapons on passengers by taking images underneath clothing. “She’s going to have a lot more money to play with” for technology, Meetze said.