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Federal, state police use driver's license photos in searchable, biometric databases

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new york cop-police
new york cop-police

Law enforcement agencies are building what critics say is becoming a de facto national, searchable database of ID photos — with pictures of both those with and without a criminal past — that uses state driver's licence photos as a foundation, according to The Washington Post. Currently, 26 states are allowing local law enforcement to tap into databases of state ID photos, collected by their local motor vehicle departments, so police can use facial recognition software to cross reference driver's license photos with mugshots to identify suspects. The majority of those states, the Post says, are granting access to these databases to federal agencies, such as the FBI. This sharing of ID photos, and related biometric data, between state and federal law enforcement is causing concern among state lawmakers, privacy activists, and civil rights lawyers.