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FBI’s Facial Photo Database Needs Better Privacy Protection

By June 12, 2019 No Comments

Courthouse News Service recently covered an “oversight hearing on the government’s use of facial-recognition software,” including the FBI’s Next Generation Identification System, a database containing 640 million faces. The director of a government accountability office explained that about a quarter of her office’s recommendations from a 2016 audit have not yet been put into place by the FBI and Justice Department. “[She] noted that privacy protections are one of several critical issues to go largely unaddressed.” She also “said that the 2016 audit warned that the [FBI] could eventually run afoul of the First and Fourth amendments without better self-reporting, but that neither the Justice Department nor the FBI agreed with the watchdog’s assessment of potential threats to privacy or gaps in accuracy.”