FBI Facial Recognition System Pulls From 411 Million Photos

Photos of millions of people are being used by the FBI and law enforcement for facial recognition and many of those affected by the system are nothing more than law-abiding US citizens. A report from the US Government Accountability Office reveals the FBI draws upon 411.9 million pictures of Americans and foreigners.

The FBI's system uses pictures from its Next Generation Identification (NGI) collection and databases from the DOJ and 16 states. Pictures from passport and visa applications held by the State Department are also used.

In response to this revelation, the EFF says the FBI's practices are troublesome because of the number of pictures involved and because the system hasn't even been adequately tested for accuracy. When law enforcement tries to identify someone, many innocent people are likely to pull up in the search results.