Big Brother Is Watching–and Probably Has Your Photo

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A Government Accountability Office report on FBI facial recognition usage released Wednesday questions the accuracy and privacy protocols of the technology, Fusion reports. The report revealed that the bureau’s vast biometric database includes 411.9 million photos that can be analyzed with facial-recognition technology. The database includes mugshots, passport photos and driver’s license photos from 16 states. Another 20 states are soon expected to allow FBI access to their driver’s license databases.

The FBI’s biometric data also includes fingerprints, palm prints, and DNA profiles, but the GAO report focuses on its facial recognition components. Those includes the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System (NGI-IPS), which is used by the bureau and seven states, as well as the FBI’s internal Facial Analysis, Comparison and Evaluation Services group (FACE), which also has access to databases from the State Department, Defense Department and 16 states. The GAO report says Illinois, North Carolina and Michigan have the largest FACE repositories, at more than 35 million images each. Texas, Kentucky, Arkansas, Iowa and Tennessee each have state databases with more than 10 million photos.

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