The FBI operates a specialized face-recognition program that can search more than 411.9 million images of faces, including driver’s license, visa and passport databases, according the Government Accountability Office.
A new report by the government watchdog agency shows the unprecedented scale of the FBI’s operations.
The report criticizes the FBI for not giving the public adequate information about the programs and their privacy implications, as required under the 1974 federal Privacy Act.
It is claimed that the program hasn’t been properly vetted for accuracy, a major concern for US citizens.
The report also reveals an internal unit at the FBI called Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation (FACE).
FACE can search photos stored in various federal and state databases.
It includes access to the Department of State’s database of passport and visa applications, and driver’s license databases for 16 states. The FBI is negotiating with 18 additional states to access their citizen databases.