This is like taking a kid’s allowance to pay the babysitter.
A new facial recognition technology, which the FBI will roll out in 2014, is expected to cost about $1 billion.
As if this question even needs to be posed: how much are Americans expected to pay to have their privacy violated?
Jason Hidalgo of Engadget noted that, though the program isn’t due for two years, agents had already started a pilot program in February.
They’re calling it the Next Generation Identification (NGI) program, and it will draw on stored data, to include DNA, iris scans and voice ID, in order to “identify” persons of interest.
The FBI’s Jerome Pender told the Senate in July that the searchable photo database used in the pilot studies only includes mugshots of known criminals. But it’s unclear from the NGI’s privacy statement whether that will remain the case once the entire system is up and running or if civilian photos might be added, says attorney Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FBI was unable to answer New Scientist’s questions before the magazine went to press.
The FBI says that innocent citizens have nothing to fear, but their algorithms are only right 92 per cent of the time, which means innocent people could be subject to unwarranted surveillance—now’s probably not the best time to start growing that Bin Laden beard.
The bureau is tight lipped about what kind of algorithms they are using, but a recent algorithm out of Carnegie Mellon can create 3D images out of frontal and side-view mugshots and then match them to partial or side view facial images.
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