Tag Archives: faceprint

State’s Giving Feds Trolling Rights to DMV Facial Biometric Databases

Biometrics getting personal

Kaye Beach

June 17, 2013

The Washington Post published what is probably one of the most comprehensive and clear (major media) articles to date on the state departments of motor vehicles’ biometric databases and how they are increasingly being utilized to undermine the presumption of innocence and rob us of our right to be left alone.

State photo-ID databases become troves for police

“Facial-recognition systems are more pervasive and can be deployed remotely, without subjects knowing that their faces have been captured.   Today’s driver’s-license databases, which also include millions of images of people who get non-driver ID cards to open bank accounts or board airplanes, typically were made available for police searches with little public notice.”

The Washington Post reports;

“Thirty-seven states now use ­facial-recognition technology in their driver’s-license registries, a Washington Post review found. At least 26
of those allow state, local or federal law enforcement agencies to search — or request searches — of photo databases. . .”

The Washington Post also notes that;

“The current version of the Senate’s immigration bill would dramatically expand an electronic photo-verification system, probably relying on access to driver’s-license registries.”

The New York Times reported on this a few days ago;

WASHINGTON — Driver’s license photographs and biographic information of most Americans would be accessible through an expanded Department of Homeland Security nationwide computer network if the immigration legislation pending before the Senate becomes law.

. . . the Senate bill would direct the department to expand the photo program by offering grants to states if they allow the department to tap into their driver’s license photo records

Read more; Fears of National ID With Immigration Bill

The Constitutional Alliance first sounded  the alarm on April 17th;

“If you want to work, travel, buy, or sell you will be forced to be enrolled into this global system of identification.” 

Read more from the Constitutional Alliance; You are being enrolled into a global identity scheme which controls your ability to buy, sell, travel and now work !!!

Our government is working diligently to ‘connect the dots’  We need to do the same – please read the Washington Post’s article on the state’s biometric databases along with  the ones linked above.

‘Facial recognition’ coming to CTA, more cams

Posted: Thursday, 10 September 2009 9:28AM

Bob Roberts Reporting
WBBM Newsradio 780

CHICAGO (WBBM) – Pickpockets and muggers beware — soon, every turnstile at a CTA ‘L’ station will have airport-style face recognition cameras, and the transit agency is planning much more comprehensive cameras at all 144 of its ‘L’ stations.

he first of the new cameras will be installed before year’s end at 17 stations on the Green Line.  Another 12 stations will be fully equipped on the Red Line by Memorial Day, at which time the face recognition cameras should be in place systemwide.

CTA President Richard Rodriguez said the agency’s goal is to fully outfit all ‘L’ stations, but said it is dependent on federal funding, and as a result chose the 29 Green and Red Line stations first.

“That’s where we’ve seen the majority of our instances of crime, Red and Green, so we’re trying to make sure that as we add these resources, it’s done where they’re most critically needed,” he said.

Rodriguez said all of the cameras will be linked not just to the CTA Control Center but to the city’s 911 call center and police, as well.  At suburban CTA ‘L’ stations, CTA has established or intends to establish a similar link with local police agencies and Cook County Sheriff’s Police.

CTA’s board Wednesday approved a $4.3 million contract with Teleste Corp., of Georgetown, Tex., to install the cameras and related equipment.  It is financing the high-resolution turnstile cameras, which will be capable of showing facial details, through a $17.9 million U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security grant.

“If individuals think their faces are being captured when they walk into our stations, they will think twice about harassing our passengers,” Rodriguez said.

The Green Line stations to receive cameras this fall include: Central, Laramie, Cicero, Pulaski, Conservatory, California, Roosevelt, 35th, Indiana, 43rd, 47th, 51st, Garfield, King Drive, Cottage Grove, Halsted and Ashland/63rd.

The Red Line stations that will receive cameras by late May include Howard, Jarvis, Morse, Loyola, Granville, Thorndale, Bryn Mawr, Argyle, Lawrence, Wilson, Sheridan and Addison.

Read More


Drive time for facial Recognition

Drive time for facial Recognition

Biometric technology catches on with DMVs, but prirecognitionDrive Time for Facial vacy concerns slow broader reach

After a driver sits for a photo at the Illinois
Secretary of State office to renew a license,
officials use facial-recognition technology to
give the resulting image a close look.

First, state officials verify that the face
matches the images portrayed on previous
licenses issued under the driver’s
name. The second, more
extensive run-through determines
if the same face appears on other
Illinois driver’s licenses with different names.

Since starting the program in 1999, the
state has uncovered more than 5,000 cases of
multiple identity fraud, said Beth Langen, policy
and program division administrator at the
Illinois Secretary of State office. The state pays
Digimarc Corp. about 25 cents per license for
the service, she said.

“We are very pleased. It is a fraud for which
we have no other tool” to combat, Langen said.

About 40 percent of the nation’s drivers are
set to undergo such facial-recognition database
checks when they renew their licenses in
20 states. It is just one sign that after years of
ups and downs, facial-recognition technology
in government agencies is gaining momentum
on several fronts.

Facial-image-matching applications have
been available for more than a decade but are
just beginning to attain widespread use in government.
Using captured facial images that are
adjusted for lighting, the technology extracts
data from the image ? such as the length of a
nose or a jaw line ? and uses an algorithm to
compare the data from one image to other

Facial recognition got a black eye when tested
at the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., in 2001.
Surveillance images of faces from the crowd
generated so many false positives that the test
was deemed a failure. Experts concede there
still are high error rates if facial recognition is
applied to images taken under less-than-ideal
conditions. That type of application also spurs
the greatest concern about privacy and civil
rights violations.

However, facial recognition is now considered
reliable in environments in which the
lighting, facial expression, angle of the head
and distance of the subject from the camera
can be controlled, and interference from hats,
sunglasses and such can be minimized. The
most recent test results announced in March
2007 by the National Institute of Standards
and Technology showed error rates of 1 percent
or less, a huge improvement compared
with previous tests.

Spending for 2008 on contracts related to facial recognition is estimated at $400 million, said Peter Cheesman, a spokesman at International Biometric Group, a consulting firm in New York. That includes $254 million for civilian agencies, $68 million for law enforcement and about
$75 million for surveillance and access control, he said.

State driver’s license bureaus are in the forefront. The 20 or so
state motor vehicle departments that have facial-recognition systems
or are in the process of implementing them typically perform
one-to-one and one-to-many matches within their states.

Growth in such applications is continuing, spurred by concerns about identity theft and fraud. Along with Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Washington and many others, Oregon is the latest state to install facial recognition.

“Doing facial matching in state motor vehicle departments is acceptable, logical and inexpensive. More states will move toward it,” said Raj Nanavati, partner at International Biometric Group, a consulting firm in New York.


However, criticism is emerging, too, especially
in states in which the drivers’ photos are being
shared or may be shared with other states and
with law enforcement agencies.

Police departments, eager for more investigative
tools, are pressing for access to the
millions of photographs in the motor vehicle
databases. A few states prohibit such sharing,
but many allow it. In Massachusetts, there
have been media reports of the Registry of
Vehicles’ database of faces being used as a
crime-fighting tool. In Pinellas County, Fla.,
police officers use facial-recognition tools on
booking photographs. In Illinois, driver’s
license photos are shared with the state police
and on request with local law enforcement
agencies, Langen said.

Such mission creep poses a danger to privacy
and could lead to intrusive surveillance and
tracking, said Jay Stanley, a spokesman for the
American Civil Liberties Union.

Nonetheless, use of facial-recognition
technology for law enforcement
is an expanding area. An executive
at Digimarc, which currently
supplies facial-recognition technologies
to about 13 state motor vehicle
departments, said the capability is
shared with law enforcement in six
states, and there is growing demand
for it.

People use the technology to identify
the homeless, deceased,
Alzheimer’s patients and criminals,
said Kevin O’Leary, senior product
line manager for biometrics at
Digimarc. “We are also seeing interest
in using it in intelligence fusion
centers,” he said. “There is a growing understanding
of the connection between false identifications
and support for criminal activity.”

In addition to fraud control, the Real ID Act
is driving some opportunities, although it does
not explicitly require use of facial recognition
or sharing of photos, industry experts said. The
next frontier may be sharing photographs and
facial-recognition capabilities between states
to discover individuals who have multiple identities
in several states.

The American Association of Motor Vehicles
sponsors the Digital Image Exchange program,
a secure network that lets several states share
driver’s license photos. It is primarily used for
one-to-one matching, in which a state sends a
photo and name of an applicant to the state of
the applicant’s former residence, asking to verify
that the previous photos match the current
images. The system does not do one-to-many
searches to look for multiple aliases for the
same photo in other states, association
spokesman Jason King said.

Out-of-state sharing may become more
popular eventually if the privacy issues can
be addressed, Nanavati said. “It has strong
security benefits, but that is when you run into
greater privacy and legality concerns,” he said.

Several other projects and developments are
driving growth in facial recognition.

  • The State Department uses it for its database
    of foreign visa applicants’ facial
    images, which it has been building since
    2004 under a contract with L-1 Identity
    Solutions Inc. The system was developed at
    State to reduce visa-related identity fraud.
  • The FBI’s $1 billion Next Generation
    Identification system is being built to add
    face and palm print biometrics databases
    to the crime-fighting arsenal. It also will
    make it easier to share data from the existing
    fingerprint system. The FBI chose
    Lockheed Martin Corp. Feb. 12 as the
    prime contractor.
  • The Homeland Security Department’s U.S.
    Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator
    Technology program is experimenting with
    multimodal biometrics, including facial
    recognition, said Director Robert Mocny.
    US-VISIT collects fingerprints from visa
    applicants and shares that information with
    other agencies.
  • New technologies for 3-D facial recognition
    and new algorithms for greater accuracy
    are being developed.

For now, expect to see more motor vehicle
offices adopting the technology, industry
experts said. More sharing with law enforcement
and with other states might come later if
privacy can be protected.

“Facial recognition is getting to a point where
it really has a high degree of potential acceptance.
But it is not yet capable in covert and facein-
the-crowd applications,” said Walter
Hamilton, chairman of the International
Biometric Industry Association.

“In my view, facial recognition at state motor
vehicle departments is one of the most logical
applications. It works the best,” said Jeremy
Grant, senior vice president at Stanford Group
Co. investment research firm.

Alice Lipowicz (alipowicz@1105govinfo.com) is a
staff writer at Washington Technology.