Digital Detectives

The FBI’s Massive Facial Recognition Database: Privacy Implications

On February 12th of 2008, the FBI announced that it had hired Lockheed Martin to build its Next Generation Identification system (NGI) to deploy multimodal matching to biometric data of US citizens. Today, NGI’s database contains several types of unique identifiers including fingerprints, iris prints, and facial recognition. On this episode of Digital Detectives, hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview Jennifer Lynch from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Together they discuss false identifications, mandatory background checks, and the First Amendment right to be anonymous. Tune in to learn more about EFF’s FOIA request and how the FBI is using the data of the innocent to look for guilty parties.

Jennifer Lynch is a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending civil liberties in the digital world. At EFF, Jennifer works on privacy issues in new technologies such as biometrics, domestic drones, and location tracking devices. She successfully sued the Federal Aviation Administration and Customs and Border Protection to obtain thousands of pages of previously unpublished drone records and has testified about facial recognition and its Fourth Amendment implications before the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.

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