Risk
6/18/2013
12:04 PM
50%
50%

FBI Driver's License Photo Searches Raise Privacy Questions

Facial-recognition software advances allow law enforcement and government agencies to match images of unknown suspects with government-issued ID photos.

The FACE unit, which has been operating since 2011, "accepts unclassified photographs of subjects of FBI investigations (probe photos) and uses facial recognition technology to compare those photos against FBI database, other federal photo databases to which the FBI legally has access, and photo repositories from states that have entered into agreements with the FBI to share data," according to a related FBI privacy threshold analysis report, which was obtained by EPIC.

"After comparison and evaluation, the FACE services unit returns to the FBI case agent or analyst candidate photos that are likely matches to the probe photo, with the caveat that the candidate photos may serve only as investigative leads and do not constitute positive identification," according to the privacy threshold analysis.

Beyond the FBI, many state and local law enforcement agencies have long been allowed to access driver's license information for suspects who have been identified during the course of an investigation. For states that allow police to access facial-recognition search software for driver's license photos, some limit searches to only certain types of trained investigators, while others allow searches to be conducted only from headquarters.

But using facial-recognition software now provides police with the potential to take a photograph of an unknown suspect or "person of interest" and work backwards until they can positively identify the subject. In a case cited by the Post, for example, during the course of a homicide investigation, a tipster pointed Las Vegas police to a photograph of an unidentified woman and said she had lived in Nebraska. Taking the image and using facial-recognition software to compare it with Nebraska driver's license photographs produced a hit, which lead to investigators cracking the case.

"That picture hung on our wall for a long time," Betty Johnson, Nebraska's vehicle services administrator, told the Post. "We are pretty darn proud of that one."

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: just wondering...Thanx
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.