Skip to comments.DeWine backs use of facial-recognition software
Posted on 08/27/2013 6:35:58 AM PDT by Deadeye Division
Catching criminals and protecting privacy clashed as Attorney General Mike DeWine revealed yesterday that his office has been using facial-recognition software since June 6 to match drivers license photos with police mug shots.
DeWine said not adopting such an important new law-enforcement technology would be dereliction of duty on his part.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio countered by urging DeWine to shut down the program until there are meaningful, documented rules in place to keep this information secure, protect the privacy of innocent people and prevent government abuse of this new tool.
Facial recognition is not new. Federal government agencies, including the FBI, are using it, as are many cities. Chicago law-enforcement officials tap 24,000 surveillance cameras for images to match against their criminal database.
DeWine held a news conference yesterday to discuss facial recognition after the Cincinnati Enquirer published a story about the software program. DeWine said he erred by not letting Ohioans know earlier about the technology, but added, I never thought there would be a big concern about it. Its a natural extension of whats been done in the past. No new pictures were taken.
The technology uses a computer to measure and compare facial features, such as the distance between the eyes and chin length. It can produce accurate results but is not as reliable for identification purposes as DNA or fingerprints.
Since June 6, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in London, a branch of DeWines office, has done 2,677 facial-recognition checks based on information submitted by law-enforcement agencies statewide. No information was available about the results.
DeWine, a Republican, said he will appoint a study commission of judges, law enforcement, the public defender and others to recommend within 60 days a protocol for using the technology. He said the state database containing drivers license photos can only be accessed for law-enforcement investigations. Misusing it could result in a fifth-degree felony charge.
But what DeWine sees as a law-enforcement tool, critics see as an encroachment on privacy. They fear facial recognition could extend to images from security cameras in public places, stores and casinos.
Gary Daniels, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, said the attorney general seems to be arguing that the government would never knowingly misuse these kinds of tools. But in the last six months alone, weve seen numerous examples of the government doing exactly that.
David Jacobs, consumer-protection counsel for the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, said facial-recognition technology can easily be abused. It allows for covert surveillance, he said. It can be done from a distance and without your knowledge.
David Pepper, a former Hamilton County commissioner and DeWines potential Democrat foe for re-election next year, called the attorney generals use of the technology absolutely irresponsible ... Something that has this much reach into the lives of every law-abiding Ohioan should not be launched until youve done all the homework and have all the details.
DeWine also announced at the conference that his office has tested 1,436 of 3,446 old rape-evidence kits submitted by law-enforcement agencies across the state. So far, there has been a hit on the DNA evidence in 439 of the tested cases. He announced he will hire six new lab technicians at an annual cost of $400,000 to continue testing the kits.
He also said he will ask the legislature to pass a law empowering him to instantly declare new synthetic drugs illegal, bypassing the Ohio Pharmacy Board, in an attempt to crack down on drugs such as bath salts and synthetic marijuana. DeWine said chemists change the drug formulas so often he needs the authority to act swiftly.
DeWhine is a RINO.
I’ll bet that came as a surprise.
I’m just waiting for the intruduction of racial recognition software from the administration.
I have no problem with that...............
Follow the money.
DeWine or some other RINO is surely getting kickbacks from the software company that made this product.
Everything I needed to know about politics I learned from reruns of The Sopranos.
It is a small stone’s throw from comparing instantaneous (spurious) images against a known criminal data base to logging all instances in a data base to allow for selected culling of selected images for things like, ANY desired target’s whereabouts and ‘where-a-beens’, etc.
The latter being the exact same frigging thing the NSA is doing with ALL electronic communication while the Post-office is backing it up with snail mail.
NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELLL NOOOOOOO!!!!
We’re only a short way from the federal government declaring it a crime if you don’t back homosexuality and a host of other Leftist gobble-de-goop.
Don’t support things that will make it easier for them to hunt your ass down.
This IS NOT a good idea.
You’re absolutely right. I don’t know what the law and order types are thinking, but they’re clearly not thinking things through very well.
Technology is becoming both more powerful and less expensive every minute. We are rapidly reaching the point where digital cameras could record virtually everything we do, and computers could integrate and analyze it. Think cameras at every intersection and mile marker on the roads, on very city street light and store, etc. The price for doing business with any government agency would be to have your body scanned and your identity tracked and compared against massive databases for possible transgressions against the state.
Even George Orwell couldn’t have predicted what’s possible with modern technology. No longer do we even need a human on the other side of the TV monitoring us. Computer programs can do that 24 hours a day. They never sleep, need to eat, visit the bathroom, or even have a moment of inattention.
If we don’t get a handle on this technology soon, we’ll have built the foundation of an Orwellian state.
They're not just for Muslims anymore!