Here is some information sent to me by a friend regarding the new facial recognition system being build by the FBI. They plan to have collected up to 52 million facial images of both criminals and ordinary citizens by 2015 with 55,000 new pictures added everyday.
The FBI is planning to build out a facial recognition system that can query a huge database of photos to identify someone based on his or her appearance regardless of criminal history, reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This is part of the FBI’s NGI system – Next Generation Identification – which could hold data on as much as one-third of all Americans. Privacy advocates are up in arms, of course.
You only need to consider the overwhelming backlash we saw when facial recognition apps became available for Google Glass – they were summarily banned. This new arm of the NGI database will build off of the FBI’s already impressive collection of fingerprints of approximately 100 million total records, some of which include retina scans and palm prints. Now their facial data will be part of this, joined with personal info such as address, age race, and name… (The article includes an interesting map summarizing the varying degrees to which the various states have or have not cooperated. As I recall, from earlier reports, cooperation consists primarily in sharing the photographs from the driver-license and similar databases.)