April 19, 2011
Florida is one of the states that embraced Real ID early on and watching the policy as it progresses is instructive.
What can be done with facial recognition technology and a database built up of driver’s digital photographs? Mind you, the hard core criminals or terrorists are probably not the ones lining up to jump through the Real ID hoops to get their licenses, these would be the more law abiding of the citizens of Florida who are trying their best to comply. And what do they get for their troubles?
They get to be tracked and monitored wherever they go.
The President of National Motorists Association contemplates license holders learning to wear a paper bag. For the more high fashion inclined, there is always the burka.
Florida, he writes “is on the cusp of implementing a full blown 24-7 universal government operated surveillance system that will monitor and track any person who ventures beyond the confines of their residence.”
“The heart of the Florida program, the key building block, is the digital image of faces currently applied to drivers licenses and state I.D. cards. Cameras, stationary and mobile, capture the faces of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and any other target of interest and those images are immediately passed to a central database that identifies the person, and gathers all recorded information on that person (e.g. Social Security number, criminal record, civil court activity, licenses, permits, registrations, and any other information accumulated by public agencies).”
From a 2010 FBI power point presentation on facial recognition (FR)/facial identification (FI), here are some of the uses of facial recognition that we can look forward to.
Pay special attention to “Access Control” After identification comes classification which will determine your level of access. We are not talking about high security clearances here. At a distance identification and classification as facial recognition is desired for means identification, classification and access control can be imposed upon ordinary citizens as they go about their daily lives.
“As we learn to link biometrics to biographic, geospatial, social networks and other forms of data, we can develop patterns of activities for both individuals and organizations, resulting in tactical and strategic situational awareness and intelligence advantage.” LINK
(Read-Getting the GISt of GIS)
Now are you ready for the no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in public rational? (Hint. Don’t buy it!)
Facial Recognition technology is not glancing at you in public, it is investigating you in public. In this country we are not supposed to be investigated absent probable cause. If we are all being investigated, we are all suspects. It is that simple.
From Your Face is Not a Bar Code ;
“Public is public. If someone happens to notice you walking in the park, you have no grounds for complaint if they decide to tell someone else where you were. That’s all we’re doing. You don’t have any reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place, and I have a free-speech right to communicate factual information about where you were.”
A human being who spots me in the park has the accountability that someone can spot them as well. Cameras are much more anonymous and easy to hide. More important is the question of scale. Most people understand the moral difference between a single chance observation in a park and an investigator who follows you everywhere you go. The information collected in the second case is obviously more dangerous.
[. . .]The chance of being spotted is different from the certainty of being tracked.