FBI and ICE Are Using Your Driver License Photo Without Your Knowledge or Consent

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Tony Katz

Blog > Tony Katz > FBI and ICE Are Using Your Driver License Photo Without Your Knowledge or Consent

FBI and ICE Are Using Your Driver License Photo Without Your Knowledge or Consent

Katz: "Why wait for China to watch our every move; we're doing it do ourselves."

(ChakisAtelier/Getty Images)

A disturbing article from The Boston Globe alleges that agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are using state driver’s license databases in conjunction with facial-recognition software to "scan through hundreds of millions of Americans’ photos without their knowledge or consent."

The unsettling claim was supported by "thousands of facial-recognition requests, internal documents, and e-mails over the past five years, obtained through public-records requests by Georgetown University researchers and provided to The Washington Post." 

While police have long had access to fingerprints, DNA, and other ‘‘biometric data’’ taken from criminal suspects, the majority of DMV records contain photos of Americans who have never been charged with a crime.

WIBC host Tony Katz argued Wednesday that this revelation puts recent concerns about China spying on U.S. citizens into perspective.

"Why wait for China to watch our every move; we're doing it do ourselves. We are now going to simply allow ICE and the FBI access to all sorts of databases because it makes it easier for them to do their jobs. Big mistake.

Right now there's conversations between Amazon, Microsoft and the U.S. government for cloud storage, and yes, facial recognition. China has video cameras on people all the time, and you get something called a 'social credit score.' With all due respect, I'm not interested in having that here in the United States and I don't care what Amazon thinks of the subject. 

How can government be talking about breaking up Amazon and Google and Facebook, when they're also working with Amazon, Facebook, and Google to spy on us?"

Click the link below to hear Tony's full commentary.

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