The Minority Report Comes True
The FBI is launching a national network of face-recognition technology that will identify individuals from images culled via a massive network of security cameras. Even your Facebook page photo can then be used to match your name to your presence wherever the cameras find you.
The technology will be used for identifying fugitives, missing persons and unknown persons of interest; tracking subject movements to/from critical events; conducting automated surveillance at lookout locations (like Occupy Wall St. congregations); identifying subjects in public datasets (e.g. Facebook); and verifying mug shots against National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) records. The system has privacy advocates very concerned about the "faces in the crowd" because anyone in public could be placed in a federal database or subjected to warrantless real-time surveillance. The FBI already has facial recognition software installed at DMVs in at least 27 states, so the FBI can potentially match any citizen's with their ID, license or passport photos in real time. "The combination of face recognition, social networks data and data mining can significantly undermine our current notions and expectations of privacy and anonymity," Carnegie Mellon University professor Alessandro Acquisti told the subcommittee.