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TWA884 Jul 7, 19 2:45 pm

FBI & ICE use driver’s license photos for facial-recognition searches
 
In The Washington Post:
FBI, ICE find state driver’s license photos are a gold mine for facial-recognition searches


***

...federal investigators have turned state Department of Motor Vehicles databases into the bedrock of an unprecedented surveillance infrastructure. Police have long had access to fingerprints, DNA and other “biometric data” taken from criminal suspects. But the DMV records contain the photos of a vast majority of a state’s residents, most of whom have never been charged with a crime.

Neither Congress nor state legislatures have authorized the development of such a system, and growing numbers of Democratic and Republican lawmakers are criticizing the technology as a dangerous, pervasive and error-prone surveillance tool.

***

“The state has told [undocumented immigrants], has encouraged them, to submit that information. To me, it’s an insane breach of trust to then turn around and allow ICE access to that,” said Clare Garvie, a senior associate with Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology who led the research. An ICE spokesman declined to answer questions about how the agency uses facial-recognition searches, saying its “investigative techniques are generally considered law-enforcement sensitive.”

***

GUWonder Jul 7, 19 8:52 pm

Who should be surprised about this kind of use of driving license photo databases by now? Also, who’s going to be surprised that the information used to get driving licenses is also increasingly often ending up in the hands of the federal government or contractors to run analysis against individuals for law enforcement and other so-called security purposes?

Big Brother must be loving today more than 1984, as surveillance state capabilities are now more technologically capable than ever before and comes with the support systems at various levels and across public and private sectors enabling it to become ever more comprehensive. And if people think such systems don’t come with risks and that mistaken ID or false lead-based investigations don’t take place as much now because technology is advancing, I have a bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan available for sale after my own very recent experience of being flagged down as a wanted fugitive or arrest target in/from Lithuania — of all places — based on a run of a travel document of mine that wasn’t even run correctly by at least two foreign agencies that had more than enough data on hand — including about face data — to not get it wrong enough to entertain me like this.

javabytes Jul 7, 19 10:08 pm


Originally Posted by GUWonder (Post 31279915)
Who should be surprised about this kind of use of driving license photo databases by now? Also, who’s going to be surprised that the information used to get driving licenses is also increasingly often ending up in the hands of the federal government or contractors to run analysis against individuals for law enforcement and other so-called security purposes?

Big Brother must be loving today more than 1984, as surveillance state capabilities are now more technologically capable than ever before and comes with the support systems at various levels and across public and private sectors enabling it to become ever more comprehensive. And if people think such systems don’t come with risks and that mistaken ID or false lead-based investigations don’t take place as much now because technology is advancing, I have a bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan available for sale after my own very recent experience of being flagged down as a wanted fugitive or arrest target in/from Lithuania — of all places — based on a run of a travel document of mine that wasn’t even run correctly by at least two foreign agencies that had more than enough data on hand — including about face data — to not get it wrong enough to entertain me like this.

I'm not surprised at all. Rather, I'm dismayed that an underhanded and manipulative government and an uncaring public have allowed this sort of thing to happen at every turn.

A quote by James Madison has haunted me for decades:
"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much, soon to forget it..."

Boy did we forget that lesson somewhere along the way.

petaluma1 Jul 8, 19 6:33 am


Originally Posted by javabytes (Post 31280052)
I'm not surprised at all. Rather, I'm dismayed that an underhanded and manipulative government and an uncaring public have allowed this sort of thing to happen at every turn.

A quote by James Madison has haunted me for decades:
"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much, soon to forget it..."

Boy did we forget that lesson somewhere along the way.

"Anything for security!"

Boggie Dog Jul 8, 19 8:16 am

I would be surprised if they weren't using passport photo's also. Any data stream seems ripe for stealing.

catocony Jul 8, 19 8:17 am


Originally Posted by petaluma1 (Post 31280978)
"Anything for security!"

With the corollary " I'm innocent and have nothing to hide".

Loren Pechtel Jul 11, 19 10:07 pm

The government misuses data they have access to.

Also, water is wet.

WillCAD Jul 12, 19 3:23 am


Originally Posted by catocony (Post 31281304)
With the corollary " I'm innocent and have nothing to hide".

There are fools who say this.

But just as dangerous are the cowards who say, "If YOU are innocent, then YOU should have nothing to hide." Many such cowards get prickly when their own privacy is violated, yet demand that the privacy of others be violated wholesale.


Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel (Post 31295020)
The government misuses data they have access to.

Also, water is wet.

I'm every bit as afraid of government incompetence with their hoarded data as I am with government misuse. How many laptops filled with personal info have been lost by government employees leaving them on tables in Starbucks or getting them stolen from cars over the years (in direct violation of multiple government rules regarding information and operational security)?

Boggie Dog Jul 12, 19 7:36 am

ICE and the Ever-Widening Surveillance Dragnet


Three years ago, the center revealed that nearly half of all U.S. adults are already in the FBI’s facial-recognition database, which is largely sourced from DMV photos. The documents uncovered this week are the first confirmation that states have granted ICE specifically, not just the FBI, access to those databases.
The image data collection didn't start yesterday and it seems our state governments are as responsible for the collections as the feds.

I read about how China surveils its citizens and I wonder how different our government really is from theirs. I'm afraid that its too late to put the genie back in the bottle.

GUWonder Jul 12, 19 8:22 am


Originally Posted by catocony (Post 31281304)
With the corollary " I'm innocent and have nothing to hide".

Indeed. I arrived into the Schengen area innocent and with nothing to hide this month and yet that is what got me flagged as some kind of wanted Lithuanian criminal. This is the kind of stuff that happens when you have national/supra-state systems feeding off multiple smaller scale systems where the operators of the smaller scale systems want to participate with the “big boys and gals” but sloppiness and protection of locals and others from questionable flagging takes a back seat to “anything for security”.

The states whose databases are feeding supra-state surveillance and control capabilities don’t seem motivated to do much of anything but “cooperate” with the “big boys and gals” for one or more reasons. They could try to frustrate other governmental-level/-unit access of the travel doc data, but they don’t really try to do that because their inclination is to be seen as “tough” and “cooperative” on ____.

halls120 Jul 15, 19 12:19 am


Originally Posted by Boggie Dog (Post 31296156)
ICE and the Ever-Widening Surveillance Dragnet

The image data collection didn't start yesterday and it seems our state governments are as responsible for the collections as the feds.

Without states giving access to their databases to the Feds, there would be no ability to run facial recognition scans.

WillCAD Jul 15, 19 6:41 am


Originally Posted by halls120 (Post 31304297)
Without states giving access to their databases to the Feds, there would be no ability to run facial recognition scans.

The feds have their own databases, collected from numerous sources. Without the state databases, their ability to locate, identify, and/or track people via facial recog would be much more limited, but they could still do it.

Photo and fingerprint DBs the feds keep include passports, trusted travelers, federal employees, contractors/consultants, anyone holding any sort of clearance, anyone who works on a federal installation, anyone who has ever been arrested by a federal law enforcement agency, and of course current and former members of the armed forces (I don't know how far back the digital photos and prints go, but I believe they've been doing it digitally for at least 15 years, probably more like 20, and the old hard copies may have been digitized as far back as the 1980s or 1990s). I would hazard a guess that anyone holding any sort of federal license for occupations involving manufacture, use, or transport of firearms, explosives, toxic substances, or radioactive materials, would probably have their photos and prints in a BATF, DOE, or DOT database somewhere. That total only represents a fraction of the populace, but it's still millions of people. And if a photo is in a federal DB, it can be used by a federal law enforcement agency.

halls120 Jul 15, 19 12:14 pm


Originally Posted by WillCAD (Post 31304994)
The feds have their own databases, collected from numerous sources. Without the state databases, their ability to locate, identify, and/or track people via facial recog would be much more limited, but they could still do it.

Photo and fingerprint DBs the feds keep include passports, trusted travelers, federal employees, contractors/consultants, anyone holding any sort of clearance, anyone who works on a federal installation, anyone who has ever been arrested by a federal law enforcement agency, and of course current and former members of the armed forces (I don't know how far back the digital photos and prints go, but I believe they've been doing it digitally for at least 15 years, probably more like 20, and the old hard copies may have been digitized as far back as the 1980s or 1990s). I would hazard a guess that anyone holding any sort of federal license for occupations involving manufacture, use, or transport of firearms, explosives, toxic substances, or radioactive materials, would probably have their photos and prints in a BATF, DOE, or DOT database somewhere. That total only represents a fraction of the populace, but it's still millions of people. And if a photo is in a federal DB, it can be used by a federal law enforcement agency.

there are around 225 million active licensed drivers in the US. That total dwarfs what the federal government likely has in its partially dated records.

GUWonder Jul 15, 19 12:27 pm


Originally Posted by halls120 (Post 31306136)


there are around 225 million active licensed drivers in the US. That total dwarfs what the federal government likely has in its partially dated records.

Yes, with regard to US persons. But perhaps not when you include what has been taken from sources outside of the US or Facebook.

Section 107 Jul 15, 19 1:28 pm

In addition, there are (almost) no restrictions on private entities capturing and storing such information (such as casinos, stadiums, amusement parks, concert venues, etc). In a similar way, many police departments completely circumvent the restrictions on them keeping license plate reader data by simply purchasing the data from private license plate reading companies. They just submit a license plate number and receive a comprehensive report of when and where the vehicle has been photographed for the last 12 months or longer. Repo companies and private dicks are other major customers of this segment of this data market.


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