You may be right to be paranoid about government surveillance and tracking, because the FBI may not be playing by even its own rules.
A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that the FBI’s facial-recognition systems have access to 411.9 million photos of individuals, far more than the 29.7 million previously disclosed. If you’ve got a passport, or hold a driver’s license from Illinois, Michigan, Texas, North Carolina or a dozen other states, you’re probably in there. The GAO report also criticized the FBI for not adequately performing required assessments of the systems’ impact on privacy.
The 382 million additional images the public was not aware of until yesterday were obtained by the FBI from the Department of State, which provided photos from passports and visa applications; the Department of Defense, which provided photos of persons detained by American military forces; and from driver’s-license, arrest and prison records held by 16 states. (Notably, there’s no mention of any participation by the Department of Homeland Security, which has a reputation for strict enforcement of privacy guidelines.)
Until yesterday, the FBI had disclosed the existence only of the 29.7 million photos in the bureau’s Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System (NGI-IPS). The NGI photos are mostly mug shots provided by participating federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and are designed to be accessible by those agencies when searching for the identities of suspects across state lines.
Read more at Fox News
Image courtesy of uts.edu.au