Patterico's Pontifications

10/12/2009

Virtual Lineups

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Crime — DRJ @ 3:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The FBI is using facial recognition software to scan driver’s licenses in an effort to locate fugitives:

“Earlier this year, investigators learned that a double-homicide suspect named Rodolfo Corrales had moved to North Carolina. The FBI took a 1991 booking photo from California and compared it with 30 million photos stored by the motor vehicle agency in Raleigh.

In seconds, the search returned dozens of drivers who resembled Corrales, and an FBI analyst reviewed a gallery of images before zeroing in on a man who called himself Jose Solis.

A week later, after corroborating Corrales’ identity, agents arrested him in High Point, southwest of Greensboro, where they believe he had built a new life under the assumed name. Corrales is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles later this month.”

An ACLU privacy expert describes it as a nationwide virtual lineup:

“Everybody’s participating, essentially, in a virtual lineup by getting a driver’s license,” said Christopher Calabrese, an attorney who focuses on privacy issues at the American Civil Liberties Union.
***
Calabrese said Americans should be concerned about how their driver’s licenses are being used.

Licenses “started as a permission to drive,” he said. “Now you need them to open a bank account. You need them to be identified everywhere. And suddenly they’re becoming the de facto law enforcement database.”

The FBI program does not take custody of driver’s license photos but instead uses state DMV databases. Its primary use seems to be for law enforcement and not terrorism since, as noted in the article, facial recognition software requires good photos but “We don’t have good photos of terrorists.”

– DRJ

26 Responses to “Virtual Lineups”

  1. Which side are those guy on?

    Alta Bob (e8af2b)

  2. It’s always the same trade – off; give up a smidgen of privacy vs. more security. I think most folks will usually opt for the latter.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  3. But isn’t this just a harassment of Rodolpho Corrales, the charge being so old? I mean he’s started a new life and everything. It probably wasn’t murder-murder anyway. Oh, wait….

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  4. It seems very unsporting to me.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  5. Immigration status?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f793c7)

  6. If only he’d made some decent movies…
    Like most law abiding citizens I have no problem with this, but I also believe that we should run prisoner’s DNA before they are released, just in case.

    Gazzer (22ecdc)

  7. I know somebody who did not have a Social Security number until he was seventeen and a driver’s license until he was twenty-seven. And he was not an illegal alien. When do you want to join the Borg?

    nk (df76d4)

  8. I just installed the new iPhoto and it has facial recognition built in. I tag one photo ‘carlito’ and all of the photos of carlito appear in a folder. The good ones anyway. Maybe I could tag some ‘terrorist’ and see what pops up.

    carlitos (ad57b1)

  9. Clearly a case of white racism. wait til La Raza and MALDEF tears these gringos apart.

    John Cunningham (1cb7c8)

  10. Security v. privacy? Okay, but I would really like the mid-80% ‘hit’ to be up in at least the low 90% range. What happens when an 84% hit is wrong?

    Dana (863a65)

  11. I’m ok with using this kind of technology to find serious criminals, like the double-homicide sort, but unfortunately I expect that as costs come down and computer capabilities go up, it will be used on more and more crimes where there’s less and less justification for that kind of intrusion into our lives. Also, I greatly fear that with widespread use of this technology, some police will go and arrest the first guy the computer hits on, without taking the week required to actually corroborate the guy’s identity. What should be an investigative tool will come to be considered definitive proof (in the minds of too many investigating officers, any way).

    America has a long history of people being able to escape from their past and live some kind of productive (or at least self-supporting) life out on the frontier, without causing further trouble. There’s something to be said for that, and it will be a real loss when it becomes completely impossible.

    PatHMV (a00c3c)

  12. Just wait until the apply this to photo radar.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f793c7)

  13. Used to be, you could get a name change in your home state, get new ID, move to another state and use your home state’s ID to get ID in the new state, and essentially cut off all connections with your past to whatever degree you wanted. Don’t know that that works anymore.

    nk (df76d4)

  14. There is still that pesky little SocSec #, that you virtually have to go into Witness Protection to change.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f793c7)

  15. Sounds great to me – catch the criminals – and I’m someone who opposes using driver licenses for voter identification.

    Nels (a474bc)

  16. Well our criminals are very, very smart and crafty these days. Once they get wind of this new technology, they’ll simply ‘make a face’ while being photographed. In fact, you can expect criminals while in prison to learn just what are the best faces to make.

    Remember the guy who made soom headlines about a week ago when he burglarized a house and signed into his Facebook account? He’s probably practicing his faces right now.

    PC14 (82e46c)

  17. “America has a long history of people being able to escape from their past and live some kind of productive (or at least self-supporting) life out on the frontier, without causing further trouble. There’s something to be said for that, and it will be a real loss when it becomes completely impossible.”

    I agree with you. At the least, we ought to be able to go south of the border, down Mexico way.

    carlitos (ad57b1)

  18. Now they can match a photo to the DNA sample they take when you get arrested for a felony.
    Arrested. Not convicted.

    I’m all for it when they are going after double homicide suspects who fled and changed identity.

    I want my DNA removed from the database… not gonna happen.
    Now I got a smidgen of a chance some dunce of a state employee is gonna drool on the keyboard and come up aces

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  19. Privacy?

    DMV records are public records. There is no privacy protection.

    There is no privacy protection against photo radar when you are driving your vehicle down the street.

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    slp (adbb56)

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  22. Hey, ACLU, if you don’t like virtual lineups, don’t get a driver’s license, or passport, or State issued ID card. If the logic works for you morons on the issue of abortion, it should work just as well on this.

    Jaime (88d0da)

  23. My 16-year old son got a temporary Pennsylvania license for a week while the state scanned his photo to prevent identity theft, they said. He got his regular license in the mail – thus verifying his address at the same time.

    I know that’s not how it was done a few years ago.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

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  25. Given that it is a voluntary action– getting a driver’s license… I can see justifications for this. Might want to work in some protections, though, especially if there are false positives.

    Foxfier (1611cc)


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