Washington Post Is Suddenly Very Concerned Over Los Federales Tapping Into Facial Recognition Searches

Now, granted, we should all be concerned when federal agencies are doing this, but, interestingly, the Washington Post and elected Democrats weren’t particularly concerned when someone else was in office

FBI, ICE tap in to state driver’s license databases for facial-recognition searches

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have turned state driver’s license databases into a facial-recognition gold mine, scanning through millions of Americans’ photos without their knowledge or consent, newly released documents show.

Thousands of facial-recognition requests, internal documents and emails over the past five years, obtained through public-records requests by Georgetown Law researchers and provided to The Washington Post, reveal that federal investigators have turned state departments of motor vehicles databases into the bedrock of an unprecedented surveillance infrastructure.

Police have long had access to fingerprints, DNA and other “biometric data” taken from criminal suspects. But the DMV records contain the photos of a vast majority of a state’s residents, most of whom have never been charged with a crime.

Neither Congress nor state legislatures have authorized the development of such a system, and growing numbers of Democratic and Republican lawmakers are criticizing the technology as a dangerous, pervasive and error-prone surveillance tool.

But, they also haven’t said they couldn’t do it, for the most part. The federal statutes seem to be devoid of saying “no”, because typical Congressional legislation is usually overly broad and leaves things in the hands of federal agencies to go hog-wild. That’s how you ended up with the Contraception Mandate when contraception is not mentioned once in the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), the House Oversight Committee’s ranking Republican, seemed particularly incensed during a hearing into the technology last month at the use of driver’s license photos in federal facial-recognition searches without the approval of state legislators or individual license holders.

“They’ve just given access to that to the FBI,” he said. “No individual signed off on that when they renewed their driver’s license, got their driver’s licenses. They didn’t sign any waiver saying, ‘Oh, it’s okay to turn my information, my photo, over to the FBI.’ No elected officials voted for that to happen.”

And Jim has a damned good point, but, he’s concerned about U.S. citizens. The Washington Post and Democrats are worried about something else

Despite those doubts, federal investigators have turned facial recognition into a routine investigative tool. Since 2011, the FBI has logged more than 390,000 facial-recognition searches of federal and local databases, including state DMV databases, the Government Accountability Office said last month, and the records show that federal investigators have forged daily working relationships with DMV officials. In Utah, FBI and ICE agents logged more than 1,000 facial-recognition searches between 2015 and 2017, the records show. Names and other details are hidden, though dozens of the searches are marked as having returned a “possible match.”

Who was president during almost all that time?

The records also underscore the conflicts between the laws of some states and the federal push to find and deport undocumented immigrants. Though Utah, Vermont and Washington allow undocumented immigrants to obtain full driver’s licenses or more-limited permits known as driving privilege cards, ICE agents have run facial-recognition searches on those DMV databases.

See, most of this is being Concerned that federal agents charged with finding and catching people who are unlawfully present in the U.S. will use a the driver’s licenses provided to illegal aliens by Democratic legislatures to find and catch illegal aliens. Any other mention of searches that affect actual legal U.S. residents is incidental and of little concern, just thrown in by the Post to cover their Concern for illegal aliens.

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One Response to “Washington Post Is Suddenly Very Concerned Over Los Federales Tapping Into Facial Recognition Searches”

  1. Professor Hale says:

    I’m not concerned at all. You don’t have a right to privacy in public. You never have a right to anonymity. Face recognition is just a faster modern form of a cop on the corner recognizing someone he had seen before.

    I would like to see a society where criminals all had a near certainty of being caught instead of today where they have a near certainty of getting away.

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