Since the 1990s, facial recognition technology has become more and more common. What was once just wishful and futuristic thinking is now present in our everyday lives in the United States. Home security devices use facial recognition to identify whether or not a visitor is someone you know. Some airports have implemented facial recognition software at check-in terminals to confirm your identity when you fly. Perhaps the most disturbing use of facial recognition technology is when it is used by law enforcement officials in criminal cases.
Federal Agencies Use Facial Recognition Technology
According to The Washington Post, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been using various states’ driver’s license databases to access photos of millions of Americans without their knowledge or permission. The FBI has long had access to biometric data such as DNA and fingerprints — but that data was taken from criminal suspects. The majority of the estimated 640 million photos the FBI has access to are of Americans who have never been charged with a crime. Facial recognition searches have become a routine investigative tool by the FBI, but many have argued against the effectiveness of this relatively new technology.
Many Claim Facial Recognition Is Too Inaccurate to Be Used in Law Enforcement
Aside from the privacy concerns that many Americans and lawmakers have, there have also been concerns about the accuracy of facial recognition software in correctly identifying a person. The California American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conducted a study in which photos of the 120 members of the state legislature were run through facial recognition software marketed to law enforcement agencies. Results from the study concluded that one out of every five lawmakers (26 people) were incorrectly matched with people in a database of arrest photos. Even more concerning was the fact that nearly half of those who were incorrectly identified were people of color.
What Does This Mean for Me?
It is extremely likely that the federal government has access to your biometric data. Information such as your driver’s license or passport photograph could potentially be used without your permission during surveillance or in the investigation of a crime. Due to the inaccuracies that still exist in this technology, it is possible that you could be falsely accused of a crime based on the results of a facial recognition scan.
Consult With a Hartford, CT Criminal Defense Lawyer
Facial recognition technology is still too new and unregulated to be used effectively by law enforcement. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we understand the risks and legal issues associated with the use of facial recognition, and we can help you defend against criminal charges stemming from these technologies. Call our Connecticut criminal defense attorney today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.