Feeds

Privacy activists sue FBI for access to facial recognition records

Feds ignore FOIA queries about massive biometrics database

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a suit against the Feds to force the bureau to reveal information about its planned biometrics database.

The EFF said that it had submitted three Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI last year to try to get info on the database and the agency's use of facial recognition, but hadn't received any answer.

The law enforcement agency is busily beefing up its Next Generation Identification (NGI) database, which will include biometric information like iris scans, palm prints, face-recognition-ready pics and voice data, adding to its existing database of fingerprints for law enforcement agencies across the US.

"NGI will result in a massive expansion of government data collection for both criminal and noncriminal purposes," EFF attorney Jennifer Lynch said in a canned statement.

"Biometrics programmes present critical threats to civil liberties and privacy. Face-recognition technology is among the most alarming new developments, because Americans cannot easily take precautions against the covert, remote, and mass capture of their images."

The pressure group is asking a California court to enforce the FOIA requests and force the Feds to hand over info on the face-recognition programme, including information on the reliability of the technology and details of the FBI's plans to merge “civilian” and criminal records into one database.

Lynch, who has also testified before the US Senate on the privacy implications of facial recognition tech, said that public debate was needed before the G-Men were allowed to expand their surveillance powers – and that debate was only possible once the public were informed about the programme.

According to the EFF, the FBI hasn't updated its Privacy Impact Assessment since 2008, well before it started on the new system and signed with several states for early roll-out of the programme. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.