Feeds

EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database

System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The FBI is planning to expand the facial recognition components of its biometrics database to catalog and search the faces of more than 52 million individuals, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The group has released a cache of documents it obtained from the bureau by way of a Freedom of Information Act suit. The documents detail the FBI's plans for the Next Generation Identification (NGI) records system.

According to the FBI, the NGI database is a project of the bureau's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) office which, with the aid of outside contractors, is building a biometrics database the will use facial recognition to help supplement existing fingerprint databases for state and local authorities.

The NGI plan also calls for the introduction of archives with scar and tattoo images as well as iris scan collections set for deployment or testing this year.

The EFF claims that the FBI is seeking to build a platform which will contain 52 million facial images and will enable authorities to run "tens of thousands" of searches every day for both criminal and non-criminal inquiries.

This, says the EFF, represents a huge potential privacy violation for millions of law-abiding citizens who will have data uploaded by not only law enforcement but also potentially through their employers as well.

"Currently, if you apply for any type of job that requires fingerprinting or a background check, your prints are sent to and stored by the FBI in its civil print database. However, the FBI has never before collected a photograph along with those prints," wrote EFF senior staff attorney Jennifer Lynch.

"This is changing with NGI. Now an employer could require you to provide a 'mug shot' photo along with your fingerprints. If that's the case, then the FBI will store both your face print and your fingerprints along with your biographic data."

When contacted for comment on the matter, the FBI provided El Reg with overview documents noting that the facial recognition system is intended to be used only as an investigative lead and will be restricted to use by authorized law enforcement agencies. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?