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The FBI’s Growing Biometric Database and the Lack of Privacy

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posted on Mar, 25 2017 @ 01:26 PM
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Chairman Chaffetz (R-UT): “So here’s the problem – you’re required by law to put out a privacy statement and you didn’t. And now we’re supposed to trust you with hundreds of millions of people’s faces in a system that you couldn’t protect even with the 702 issue.”

Here’s a good reason not to trust the FBI.


(video highlights below)


Washington D.C. – On Wednesday the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform questioned Kimberly Del Greco, Deputy Assistant Director at the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, about why the bureau broke the law by failing to file a privacy impact statement acknowledging the collection of millions of Americans’ faces for the agency’s new biometric identification system.

The Next Generation Identification (NGI), system is made up of fingerprints, iris scans, faceprints and other recognition data. The biometrics of every American and foreigner entering the US will eventually be organized into a single file, along with personal and biographic information.



The Committee reports that nearly half of all adult Americans’ photographs are in the database. The 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimated that there are over 242 million adults living in the U.S. If the Committee’s numbers are correct, over 121 million adults are in the FBI’s database.

Source: Link

This next video is the one to watch.



Committee Chairman Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R- Utah) scolded Ms. Del Greco for the FBI’s failures. “The failure here is years after you were supposed to make it public,” Chaffetz stated.


“You were using it in real world circumstances, you were actually using it and didn’t issue the statement.”

Chaffetz also asked Del Greco whether the FBI had plans to gather faceprints via social media. “Are you collecting that information that is available on social media?,” the chairman demanded. “We do not have any other photos in our repository.”

The Center on Privacy and Technology Georgetown Law questioned the FBI’s claims, getting Del Greco to admit that the bureau can in fact access and obtain various forms of picture identification, as well as other "civil photos," stating that the data is never used.


According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center:


With NGI, the FBI will expand the number of uploaded photographs and provide investigators with ‘automated facial recognition search capability.’

The FBI intends to do this by eliminating restrictions on the number of submitted photographs (including photographs that are not accompanied by tenprint fingerprints) and allowing the submission of non-facial photographs (e.g. scars or tattoos).

The FBI also widely disseminates this NGI data. According to the FBI’s latest NGI fact sheet, 24,510 local, state, tribal, federal and international partners submitted queries to NGI in September 2016.

PDF: Download


Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) also questioned Del Greco regarding the FBI’s activities. “I think the issue goes beyond the First Amendment concerns that were expressed. . .and is broader,” Mitchell stated during the panel.


“I don’t want to just protect someone if they’re in a political protest from being identified, the reality is we should protect everybody unless there is a valid documented criminal justice action."

You may not be surprised, but still have to admit, it’s always nice when appointed officials are caught with their pants down. Often times there is little punishment, but there are scraps of truth to behold during these fleeting moments of capture.


Duncan worried that Americans looking at the information, “would wonder if were ending up in a federal police state that’s gotten totally out of control, and has far too much power.”


“I think we’re reaching a very sad point, a very dangerous point, when we’re doing away with the reasonable expectation of privacy about anything.”

Even worse, the FBI is currently facing a lawsuit from EPIC, due to the increasing rate at which female and black individuals are misidentified.

EPIC Sues FBI Over Biometric Database Records


A major privacy group has filed a lawsuit against the FBI to force the bureau to release all relevant documents about its plan to share a huge amount of biometric information with the Department of Defense.

Privacy advocates, including EPIC, have said that the new database presents serious problems because of the high error rates seen with facial recognition systems. Also, the collection and storage of that data is a significant risk for the people whose information is in the database.

And this comforting headline...

FBI Wants Biometric Database Hidden From Privacy Act


The FBI is working to keep information contained in a key biometric database private and unavailable, even to people whose information is contained in the records.

The most ironic reason? The disclosure of “information which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of another’s personal privacy.”

The revelation is, when the intelligence community wants to know something, they don't ask for permission. They don't even follow the law, which requires them to report changes in policy regarding the privacy of Americans. Once again, we are left in the dark.


The only prize for participation is knowing more than ever, just how bad we’re being screwed. Having a clean record or humbly avoiding the system is futile. This is where ignorance equates to bliss, I assume.



edit on 26-3-2017 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 25 2017 @ 01:52 PM
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WOAH an FBI biometric database with a file on every American - Geeeeeeezus



posted on Mar, 25 2017 @ 09:35 PM
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originally posted by: oxford
WOAH an FBI biometric database with a file on every American - Geeeeeeezus


Plus residents and visitors legally in the country.
Maybe some not so legal as well.
Now the cat's out of the bag, I wonder if the information collection & use will surge or decline over the short term, until the dust settles on these investigations and resultant remedies...

ganjoa



posted on Mar, 25 2017 @ 09:35 PM
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originally posted by: oxford
WOAH an FBI biometric database with a file on every American - Geeeeeeezus


Plus residents and visitors legally in the country.
Maybe some not so legal as well.
Now the cat's out of the bag, I wonder if the information collection & use will surge or decline over the short term, until the dust settles on these investigations and resultant remedies...

ganjoa



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 07:39 AM
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a reply to: eisegesis

The further progression of modern tyranny. And misguided people try to defend it, except one day they'll sit back and realize that they're living in a dictatorship. Imagine if, when the Surveillance Tyranny is finalized, a man like Trump rises to power? And decides that anybody who disagrees with him gets thrown in jail? And they'll actually be able to do it, because the FBI has all our bio data and the NSA hears everything we say.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 07:58 AM
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originally posted by: oxford
WOAH an FBI biometric database with a file on every American - Geeeeeeezus


With the databases of all of the agencies combined, they probably know far more about you than you know about yourself.




posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 08:06 AM
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We used to fear that the government had grown out of control, and was no longer listening to we the people...


Guess we were only half right.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 09:28 AM
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originally posted by: ganjoa

originally posted by: oxford
WOAH an FBI biometric database with a file on every American - Geeeeeeezus


Plus residents and visitors legally in the country.
Maybe some not so legal as well.
Now the cat's out of the bag, I wonder if the information collection & use will surge or decline over the short term, until the dust settles on these investigations and resultant remedies...

ganjoa



At what point did the American public agree to this! Don't you have an amendment which covers this?



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 09:31 AM
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originally posted by: ausername

originally posted by: oxford
WOAH an FBI biometric database with a file on every American - Geeeeeeezus


With the databases of all of the agencies combined, they probably know far more about you than you know about yourself.



And considering the current issues around information security I find that very concerning.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:11 AM
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While it is nice to see an appearance of congress doing its job... it sure would be nicer to see them put the breaks on programs like this... and pursue legal charges against those that authorized it... but I will not hold my breath.



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