The Federal Bureau of Investigation is piloting a facial-recognition surveillance project that will store millions of mug shots, bureau Director James Comey told lawmakers Wednesday.
“We’re piloting the use of mug shots, along with our fingerprint database, to see if we can find bad guys by matching pictures with mug shots,” Comey told the House Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing. Comey said the project is focused on a database of mug shots taken of those arrested. The director wavered, however, when asked if the database would store drivers’ license pictures.
“I don’t think so. The Next Gen Identification, as I understand it, is about mug shots,” Comey said. “I think there is some circumstances in which when states send us records, they’ll send us pictures of people who are getting special driving licenses to transport children or explosive materials or something—but as I understand it, those are not part of the searchable Next Generation Identification database.”
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