How The FBI And Police Are Using Facial Recognition Systems

How The FBI And Police Are Using Facial Recognition Systems

Twenty-six states allow police to search photo ID databases for criminals, victims and witnesses. How advances in facial recognition are transforming law enforcement and raising privacy concerns.

Yesterday former intelligence subcontractor Edward Snowden denied ties to China. Many questions remain unanswered related to his claims that the U.S. government routinely collects vast troves of information on ordinary Americans. But there’s another kind of surveillance not widely acknowledged: facial recognition. An estimated 120 million facial images are stored in searchable databases across the country. Law enforcement authorities in 26 states are allowed to search these images for crime suspects, victims and witnesses. How facial recognition software and other biometric techniques are being used today.

Guests

Craig Timberg

national technology reporter for The Washington Post.

Laura Donohue

professor at Georgetown University Law School.

Michael Thieme

vice president of International Biometric Group (Novetta Solutions).

Facial Recognition Via High-Resolution Photos

The Washington Post created a gigapixel panorama of the 2013 opening day game at Nationals Park. The interactive photograph allows users to zoom into the stadium by seat number, see faces and tag people. Erin Stamper, engineer for The Diane Rehm Show, attended the baseball game, and she was able to identify and tag herself in the image. See the panorama and close-up of Stamper in the gallery below. Click "Full Screen" to see a larger version.

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