Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

How Facial Recognition Is Used by Law Enforcement

If someone updates George Orwell's 1984, they should explain how Big Brother grew up.

Yesterday, it happened through DNA evidence. Today, it's happening with facial recognition software.

In the latest chapter on the technology's application, police used the software to catch suspects who stole circuit breakers from businesses in Southern California. As Big Brother Borg says, "Resistance is futile."

"Fully Operational"

According to reports, half of all Americans are already in a facial recognition database. The FBI said its facial recognition project is at "full operational capability."

Not to be a sci-fi fanatic, but isn't that what the Emperor said in Star Wars? In Riverside, California, police have been using the technology for years.

"We use a local database which pulls from persons who have been booked into a correctional facility in Riverside County as well as includes the surrounding counties entries as well," Sgt. Chris Willison told Ars Technica. That means mugshots.

No problem, if you haven't been booked lately. But wait, what about airport security and traffic light cameras?!

4,000 Arrests and Counting

In New York, police have busted more than 4,000 people using DMV records and facial recognition software.

"The use of this facial recognition technology has allowed law enforcement to crack down on fraud, identity theft, and other offenses -- taking criminals and dangerous drivers off our streets and increasing the safety of New York's roadways," announced Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

So yeah, we're busted. You may want a lawyer, but resistance is futile.

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