BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER: FBI BIOMETRIC DATABASE

The FBI is using this “Next Generation Identification “to track ‘the bad guys’ and yet, “NGI shall return an incorrect candidate a maximum of 20% of the time.”

Be sure to read the comments hyperlinked below, which include this statement:

According to the SORN, the NGI Database will include detailed, personal information about an expansive array of individuals, many of whom have never been charged with any criminal misconduct.

Via EPIC email update:

EPIC Scrutinizes FBI’s Massive Biometrics Database

In comments to the FBI, EPIC criticized the Bureau’s proposal to remove Privacy Act safeguards from a database containing biometric data on millions of people. Known as Next Generation Identification (NGI), the FBI’s biometric database collects numerous biometric identifiers including fingerprints, facial scans, and iris scans. Biometric data is collected on arrestees and people with records, as well as individuals with no connection to the criminal justice system. The FBI keeps biometric data for decades beyond the need to fulfill the stated purpose for which the data was originally collected.

The FBI’s proposal would exempt the NGI database from the Privacy Act requirements of accuracy, relevancy and necessity, accounting disclosures, individual access to records, and civil remedies. EPIC argued that such broad exemptions will “increase the secrecy of the database and erode agency accountability.” A recent GAO report on the FBI’s use of facial recognition has already found that the FBI has failed to update the public in a timely manner regarding the Bureau’s expanding use of facial recognition.  EPIC also warned the FBI of the potential for data breaches. In its comments, EPIC stated that “the over collection of detailed, sensitive information is problematic particularly in light of the rise of government data breaches.”

Recently, EPIC and a coalition of 45 organizations urged Congress to hold a hearing on the FBI’s NGI database and the Bureau’s use of facial recognition. The letter stated that “[o]versight hearings promote transparency and accountability and help ensure that the FBI fulfills its mission while upholding American values and constitutional freedoms.”

EPIC previously sued the FBI for details about NGI. In the EPIC v. FBI FOIA case, EPIC obtained thousands of pages of documents. According to the System Requirements for the NGI database obtained by EPIC, “NGI shall return an incorrect candidate a maximum of 20% of the time.”

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