Privacy

Feds to roll out face recognition database by summer

April 15, 2014

The FBI is close to having an operational face recognition database, which currently has more than 16 million face images, and plans to have more than 52 million images by next year.

The database is part of the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, which includes other biometric data such as palm prints, fingerprints and iris scabs, currently contains information on more than one third of the U.S. population, according to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the agency in 2012.

Of concern to the digital rights advocacy group are the 4.3 million images “taken for non-criminal purposes,” which would be stored alongside those of criminals. According to a report by the EFF, the database will be able to process up to 55,000 direct photo enrollments per day.

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