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The Linder Firm Nov. 25, 2016

Regardless of whether you have ever been arrested or ticketed, it is likely the police already know who you are. Technology advancements in fingerprinting, surveillance, and facial recognition have enabled law enforcement to identify citizens in ways never imagined before. And currently, there are no laws controlling this information. There is a very good chance that even if you are an ordinary citizen, the police may have your face on file in their database.

How Does Law Enforcement Gather This Information?

According to a recent NPR report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, a drivers’ license photo of you is all it takes to be entered into a police database. The report states that approximately half of all American adult faces can be searched for in these databases. Currently, 26 states are using this facial recognition technology to log citizens’ information into their databases. Not all driver license photos are logged into police databases, some are kept on DMV databases. However, police can request to search these and sometimes even run searches directly without an initial request.

Facial recognition technology isn’t always accurate. In fact, according to the NPR report, the FBI performed a test on its technology only to find that one out of seven times, the database listed innocent faces. The faces are based on an algorithm and are particularly inaccurate with certain populations. It had the most trouble identifying females, African Americans, and young faces.

Despite some of the inaccuracies, law enforcement is using this technology in various scenarios such as police stops and protests, even peaceful ones. It is also used in certain cities anytime someone passes in front of a surveillance camera to scan their face and compare it to those on a watch list.

Have You Been Involved in a Case Involving Facial Recognition?

Cases that involve facial recognition can have unique challenges. If you or a family member has been arrested in one of these types of cases, you will need a unique defense to combat the challenges surrounding facial recognition technology. A highly-trained lawyer who is knowledgeable on these types of cases can help ensure that your rights are protected. With over 20 years of experience helping people overcome criminal charges and maintain their innocence, the law office of Phillip A. Linder can help protect your rights throughout the legal process.