Homeland Security Makes Progress on Crowd-Scanning Through Video Cameras


The federal government is making progress on a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces, reports the New York Times. The Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System – or BOSS – last fall. Researchers say they are making significant advances, which alarms privacy advocates, who say the government should establish oversight rules and limits on how it will someday be used. A release of documents about the surveillance work comes amid a surge of interest in the issue inspired by the leaks from Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor. Interest in video surveillance was fueled by the Boston Marathon attack, where suspects were identified by looking through camera footage.

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