FBI Built a Massive Facial Recognition Database Without Proper Oversight

FBI Built a Massive Facial Recognition Database Without Proper Oversight
June 16 16:52 2016 Print This Article

(TECH CRUNCH) – The FBI steadily, stealthily compiled a massive facial recognition database without oversight and in disregard of federal law, according to a report released today by the Government Accountability Office.

The bombshell report reveals that the FBI dipped into driver’s license photo databases from 16 states, as well as passport and visa photo databases from the State Department, feeding its facial recognition with millions of photos of Americans and foreigners who have never been accused of a crime. The FBI has access to a whopping 411.9 million images for use in facial recognition, roughly 30 million of which are mug shots.

The sheer number of photos described in the GAO report is staggering, but what’s worse is that the FBI didn’t make public disclosures about the program required by law, the report says. The GAO recommended that the FBI make several improvements to its transparency process and assess its past failures. The report instructs that the U.S. Attorney General should determine why the FBI didn’t publish legally mandated privacy assessments as it expanded its facial recognition program.

The Privacy Act requires government agencies to disclose how they harvest and use personal information like ID photos, but the GAO found that the FBI didn’t make the mandatory disclosures.

See the full article and images HERE