Facial recognition database used by FBI is out of control, House committee hears
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: April 2nd, 2017
Approximately half of adult Americans photographs are stored in facial recognition databases that can be accessed by the FBI, without their knowledge or consent, in the hunt for suspected criminals. About 80% of photos in the FBIs network are non-criminal entries, including pictures from drivers licenses and passports. The algorithms used to identify matches are inaccurate about 15% of the time, and are more likely to misidentify black people than white people. These are just some of the damning facts presented at last weeks House oversight committee hearing, where politicians and privacy campaigners criticized the FBI and called for stricter regulation of facial recognition technology at a time when it is creeping into law enforcement and business. The FBI first launched its advanced biometric database ... in 2010, augmenting the old fingerprint database with further capabilities including facial recognition. The bureau did not inform the public ... nor did it publish a privacy impact assessment, required by law, for five years. The FBI made arrangements with 18 different states to gain access to their databases of drivers license photos. Last year, the US government accountability office (GAO) analyzed the FBIs use of facial recognition technology and found it to be lacking in accountability, accuracy and oversight. It doesnt know how often the system incorrectly identifies the wrong subject, explained the GAOs Diana Maurer. Innocent people could bear the burden of being falsely accused.