Trump Administration to Test Biometric Program to Scan Faces of Drivers and Passengers in Vehicles

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced plans for a new pilot program that will test out biometric facial recognition technology as part of an effort to identify fugitives or terror suspects.

The Austin-American Statesman reported on the announcement:

Thanks to quantum leaps in facial recognition technology, especially over the past year, the future is arriving sooner than most Americans realize. As early as this summer, CBP will set up a pilot program to digitally scan the faces of drivers and passengers — while they are in moving vehicles — at the busy Anzalduas Port of Entry outside of McAllen, the agency announced Thursday.

The Texas-Mexico border is being used as the testing grounds for the technology. The results of the pilot program will be used to help roll out a national program along the entire southern and northern borders.( Rollout preparation for HR 4760 ??)

The Department of Energy hired researchers at Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help overcome the difficulties of using facial recognition technology on moving vehicles. The researchers developed a method for combating window tinting and sun glare which can make a vehicle’s windows impenetrable to cameras. The facial recognition technology being developed for the pilot program will be capable of identifying the driver, front passengers, and the passengers riding in the back.

Although the CBP claims implementing facial recognition technology could eventually eliminate the need for passports, boarding passes and other travel documents(A perfect setup for a National ID card,and cashless banking society), the technology is without a doubt an invasion of privacy. The new Texas pilot program is only the latest effort by the federal government to implement a wide range of biometric and surveillance programs around the United States.

These programs are reminiscent of mass surveillance systems established in Russia and China. The truth of the matter is that all three nations are taking different paths towards the same goal: control and monitoring of their population and suppression of critical thought or opposition. The only way to stand against this is to refuse to fund the programs at every turn and sharing the information.

Original story- Activist Post

Half of Americans’ Photos Are Now Stored In Facial Recognition Databases

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According to a report by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, half of Americans now have photos of themselves stored in facial recognition databases. The vast majority of these citizens are not suspects in crimes, nor do they have criminal records.
Over 117 million adults are stored in facial recognition databases, and any of their photos can be used at any time in a “virtual lineup,” where they can be picked out by law enforcement as potential suspects.

According to the ACLU, many police departments use photos from Facebook, photos from protests, and even videos of average people walking down the street taken from cameras posted up around urban centers. It was even indicated in the report that drivers license photos are used to populate these databases, meaning that almost anyone could be a potential suspect in one of these lineups.

The report’s findings suggest that the technology may be violating the rights of millions of Americans and is disproportionately affecting communities of color, advocates said.
Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU’s legislative counsel, pointed out that government agencies have free rein to do whatever they want with this technology, and that they offer absolutely no transparency.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent report is the fact that these facial recognition databases have become “overwhelmingly made up of non-criminal entries.” This can get extremely dangerous because this technology is far from perfect and, in fact, mistakes are made all of the time.

Even the FBI admits that one out of every seven searches of its facial recognition database are incorrect, meaning that innocent people are singled out on a regular basis. However, independent investigation revealed that the number was far higher, with close to 90% of those identified by facial recognition technology being innocent people.

Via: Activist post

Original Story Here