Friday, September 18, 2015

With Little Fanfare, FBI Ramps Up Biometrics Programs (Yet Again)

As we noted in Part 1 of this story, in the last few years, the FBI has been dramatically expanding its biometrics programs, whether by adding face recognition to its vast Next Generation Identification (NGI) database or pushing out mobile biometrics capabilities for “time-critical situations” through its Repository for Individuals of Special Concern (RISC). But two new developments—both introduced with next to no media attention—will impact far more ordinary Americans than anything the FBI has done on biometrics in the past. Read about the second development below and the first here.

FBI Plans to Populate its Massive Face Recognition Database with Photographs Taken in the Field

As Privacy SOS reported earlier this month, the FBI is looking for new ways to collect biometrics out in the field—and not just fingerprints, but face recognition-ready photographs as well.

The FBI recently issued a request for quotations (RFQ) to build out its mobile biometrics capabilities. Specifically, it’s looking for software that can be used on small Android-based mobile devices like Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets to collect fingerprints and face images from anyone officers stop on the street.

If the plan goes through, it will be the first time the FBI will be able to collect fingerprints and face images out in the field and search them against its Next Generation Identification (NGI) database. According to the RFQ, FBI’s current mobile collection tools are “not optimized for mobile operations” because they are large and are limited in scope to determining if a person has “possible terrorist links (in the U.S. or abroad) or is likely to pose a threat to the U.S.”

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/09/little-fanfare-fbi-ramps-biometrics-programs-yet-again-part-2

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