ICE Used AI to Scan Driver's License Photos for Illegals

FBI, ICE use driver license photos without owners’ knowledge or consent

Lots of discussion on the web today about a Washington Post article concerning FBI and ICE use of facial recognition software to mine state driver license databases, often without legislative authorization and without notice to the many innocent people who've been added to federal surveillance files.

Driving records and photos in IL are fed into the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System, which law enforcement can search, for example, when someone is pulled over for speeding.

A coalition of more than 30 civil rights and tech advocacy groups, led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, wrote a letter to the Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday calling for DHS to suspend the use of facial-recognition technology on the public, saying it "poses a unique threat to constitutional rights" and is an "especially risky technology in need of strict limits on its use".

MARTIN: Alvaro Bedoya with the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown.

Until now, resistance to facial recognition has been a rare spot of bipartisan consensus in Washington, with lawmakers on opposite sides of the political spectrum like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., expressing concerns about the emerging technology.

In a Government Accountability Office report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted tests on the accuracy of facial recognition and found that 86 percent of the time a match was found in a 50-person list. Some of the searches were completed for local and state police, and 21 were conducted for the U.S. Marshals Service. "It's the Wild West".

"Congress should set a floor for how and when this technology should be used, just as we have limits for wiretaps and other kinds of surveillance activities", he said. The company that's the largest maker of police body cameras says it's not going to sell facial recognition tech for now because it's just not reliable enough. "That's insane", he said. The documents were obtained via the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a USA government watchdog.

Critics of the practice argue that running such technology in databases containing the images of millions of law-abiding citizens is a major violation of individual privacy.

"That's a significant civil liberties infringement for drivers across the country", he told TechNewsWorld.

"The governor and I are both very concerned about what we read and we are in the process of investigating what kind of access they have had and how frequent and how broad that was", Lt. Governor Spencer Cox said in a brief interview with reporters.

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"This is an established procedure that is consistent with other law enforcement agencies", Bourke said. It was enacted before the days of digital photography, so this kind of data mining wasn't even on the horizon.

LAPERRUQUE: By current law, it's legal.

"It's putting people in this impossible situation", said Jacinta Gonzales, an organizer with the group Mijente, noting that state IDs are supposed to help undocumented people avoid arrest.

"This has an impact on everyone", she warned.

When asked whether ICE could use the database to search for suspected undocumented immigrants, Cote said "there has to be a criminal case open and an investigation per individual for us to assist".

It's unclear how many facial-recognition scans have been performed nationwide.

Facial recognition is used in conjunction with human review and investigation. This - if we look at sort of what's probably the closest model to the United States in terms of facial recognition, the answer is probably China.

"Our adversaries and the threats we face are relentless", Del Greco told committee members at the hearing.

The FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News, but referred the paper to last month's testimony of a top agency official who called facial-recognition critical to "preserve our security".

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