The FBI’s Massive Facial Recognition Database Raises Concern

Facial recognition technology isn’t yet sophisticated enough to identify people accurately, something which most technology watchers cite as a reason not to be overly concerned, yet, about its privacy implications. But the FBI plans to start using the software anyway:
When used by law enforcement agencies, imprecise facial recognition algorithms hold at least as much potential for abuse as a terrifyingly precise one, say civil liberties advocates.
The FBI has been building what it calls a Next-Generation Identification system to hold its identification data and, responding to political pressure in the wake of 9/11, to make it sharable between agencies. Civil liberties groups were tense about how more powerful suspect search-engines might affect average citizens, and that’s where the lawsuit came in.
The papers the FBI turned over just last week reveal that it has been making impressive progress toward a facial recognition database with a wide-range of sources. But despite clear evidence that the software generates a lot of false positive and false negative results, the bureau’s progress toward guidelines on how the technology will be used is nowhere near as robust.