by Susanne Posel
Some industry executives believe that when it comes to using biometrics or facial recognition technology to fight terrorism or process payments the public will “surrender to it” when they realize the benefits outweigh the infringement on our Constitutional rights.
The Palm Bay Police Department (PBPD) have used 3D facial recognition software; participating in a pilot program provided by 3D-ID, LLC.
This system “is expected to expand to include more law enforcement agencies connected to 3D-ID’s BioCloud to improve identification of previously enrolled (booked) individuals from multiple law enforcement agencies searching from a common 3D database. Further expansion is expected to include capture of faces from surveillance cameras, video and from mobile devices using 3D-ID’s MobileBio technologies under development.”
Doug Muldoon, chief of the PBPD explained that their “partnership with NXT-ID in 3D facial recognition is yet another opportunity to become more efficient and effective in fighting crime.”
The Next Generation Identification (NGI) databases is used by the US military to identify insurgents and local police departments (LPDs) to find murderers, bank robbers an drug dealers.
NGI is a part of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) that utilizes “advances in technology, customer requirements, and growing demand for Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) services.”
The FBI has received $1 billion in taxpayer money to collect information on Americans in order to develop an all-encompassing criminal database.
When it comes to privacy, cookies ensure that advertising it able to follow a user across the internet while simultaneously pilfering massive amounts of data on the behavior of the user by their searches.
- Discovered by the self-driving Google cars, Wi-Fi has been identified as a weak point in maintaining user privacy.
- Cloud services are also not only storing data , but not protected in the way personal property is protected legally when in possession of the owner.
- Essentially, cloud services have not been clearly defined in court as being covered under the 4th Amendment.
- Because of this loophole in protecting privacy while continuing to data mine, law enforcement has requested cloud data with more fervent frequency.
- Requests for cloud data from Google and Twitter have peaked law enforcement’s interest.
- Loyalty cards can assist in tracking consumers and identifying location of suspects in real time.
- Photo tagging, or “faceprints” on social media ties into facial recognition databases to ensure law enforcement can identify suspects .
- Government monitoring the internet to protect financial institutions, utilities corporations and transportation companies.
Last June HR 2356, entitled the “We Are Watching You Act of 2013” was introduced to the House Energy and Commerce committee (HEC) by congressman Michael Capuano.
The bill states that its purpose is to “provide for notification to consumers before a video service collects visual or auditory information from the viewing area and to provide consumers with choices that do not involve the collection of such information, and for other purposes.”
When the “operator of a video service” was monitoring a customer, there would be a “display [on] the video programing stream to the customer “a message that reads, ‘We are watching you’.”
This would include the OVS providing “consumer a description of the types of information that will be collected and how such information will be used.”
Should either the customer or the OVS violate these provisions, they “shall be subject to penalties under authority of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA).
Facial recognition databases on American citizens used by local and federal law enforcement are on the rise . These programs are sold to the public as necessary because they assist police in locating criminals with comparative CCTV surveillance camera images that are cross-referenced with driver’s license and state-ID photos.
Laura Donohue, professor of law at Georgetown University asked : “As a society, do we want to have total surveillance? Do we want to give the government the ability to identify individuals wherever they are … without any immediate probable cause?”
The reality is that over 120 million Americans are searchable in facial recognition databases. This includes the innocent and criminal intermingled with a few loosely interpreted legal safeguards in place.
However, authorities simply say that their surveillance is for “law enforcement purposes” and they can monitor anyone, anywhere.