FBI to launch facial recognition system for criminals

Last Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 16:15

New York: The FBI is gearing up to launch a USD 1 billion `Minority Report-style` facial recognition system across the US to identify criminals with an accuracy of more than 90 percent.

The Next Generation Identification programme matches surveillance images to photos of known criminals to aid agents in identifying and catching suspects.

According to the New Scientist magazine, the FBI has been pilot-testing the high-tech program, which compiles mugshots, DNA information, iris scans and voice recognition, in several states since February.
It is expected to be implemented nationwide by 2014.

The facial recognition system works in two ways: it can compare an image to the FBI`s massive database of mugshots to pinpoint criminals, and can also track suspects in surveillance footage by honing in on their faces in a crowd.

The FBI has not announced what type of facial recognition software it is using for the programme, but the most-advanced software in the field reportedly boasts an accuracy of more than 90 per cent, the `New York Daily News` reported.

The technology is similar to the one shown in the movie `Minority Report` where Tom Cruise boards a tram, and then the cameras scan and identify his face and alert the authorities.

Several public advocates are wary of the project, fearing that the database will eventually extend beyond criminals to include images of the innocent.


First Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 16:14

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