FBI launches $1 billion face recognition project
2012-09-21 0:00

By Sara Reardon | NewScientist.com

The Next Generation Identification programme will include a nationwide database of criminal faces and other biometrics

"FACE recognition is ínowí," declared Alessandro Acquisti of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in a testimony before the US Senate in July.

It certainly seems that way. As part of an update to the national fingerprint database, the FBI has begun rolling out facial recognition to identify criminals.

It will form part of the bureauís long-awaited, $1 billion Next Generation Identification (NGI) programme, which will also add biometrics such as iris scans, DNA analysis and voice identification to the toolkit. A handful of states began uploading their photos as part of a pilot programme this February and it is expected to be rolled out nationwide by 2014. In addition to scanning mugshots for a match, FBI officials have indicated that they are keen to track a suspect by picking out their face in a crowd.

Another application would be the reverse: images of a person of interest from security cameras or public photos uploaded onto the internet could be compared against a national repository of images held by the FBI. An algorithm would perform an automatic search and return a list of potential hits for an officer to sort through and use as possible leads for an investigation.

Ideally, such technological advancements will allow law enforcement to identify criminals more accurately and lead to quicker arrests. But privacy advocates are worried by the broad scope of the FBIís plans. They are concerned that people with no criminal record who are caught on camera alongside a person of interest could end up in a federal database, or be subject to unwarranted surveillance.

The FBIís Jerome Pender told the Senate in July that the searchable photo database used in the pilot studies only includes mugshots of known criminals. But itís unclear from the NGIís privacy statement whether that will remain the case once the entire system is up and running or if civilian photos might be added, says attorney Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FBI was unable to answer New Scientistís questions before the magazine went to press.

The FBI hasnít shared details of the algorithms it is using, but its technology could be very accurate if applied to photographs taken in controlled situations such as passport photos or police shots.

[...]

Read the full article at: newscientist.com












Related Articles
Facial recognition tech is rocketing ahead of laws that can control it
Face The Truth: Facebook Acquires íLargest, Most Accurateí Facial Recognition Software
Face recognition software raises privacy concerns
FBI Wants a Database of Your Tattoos
See-Through Security: Molecular scanners to search without consent


Latest News from our Front Page

Immigrants in Hungary Head to German Border on Government Buses and Walking on Foot
2015-09-04 22:50
Footage showed migrants — frustrated with the Hungarian authorities, who have blocked their way by rail — starting the walk from Budapest toward Germany. Others remained in a standoff with the police. Budapest - After a day of defiance by increasingly desperate refugees, the government of Hungary metaphorically threw up its hands Friday and offered to bus thousands of migrants to ...
Generation P. Russia awaken!
2015-09-04 21:02
From Youtube description: The first Russian cult film of the new millenium Watch a preview here: Source: youtube.com
Blonde Parade in Latvia
2015-09-04 21:04
Youtube description: Hundreds of blonde Latvian women marched through the streets of Riga to to lift nation's economy. Source: youtube.com
Shocking: Young Girls Convulse On The Floor After HPV Shot
2015-09-04 20:49
Video appears to show widespread adverse reaction to Gardasil vaccine Shocking video posted to Facebook shows a group of young girls convulsing on the floor after reportedly taking the Gardisil vaccine somewhere in Bolivia. Source: infowars.com
White Women Are Getting Fed Up
2015-09-03 23:09
White women speak out against the claim that "White women have things so much easier than every other people." This video has been flagged as "inappropriate" by Youtube: Don't miss the Radio 3Fourteen interview with Lana, Sinead and Megan.
More News »