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FBI plugs $1 billion into facial recognition tech to turn America into its own game of ‘Where’s Waldo?’

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:34PM EST

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Hiding in plain sight is about to get a whole lot harder. New Scientist reports that the FBI is spending $1 billion to add facial recognition technology to its national fingerprint database as part of a broad upgrade aimed at making it easier to identify alleged criminals. While this sounds rather scary for civil libertarians, the FBI says that the facial recognition data base will only include official mug shots of known criminals, although New Scientist writes that there’s no guarantee the FBI will stick with this limited implementation. The site also reports that the database upgrade will “add biometrics such as iris scans, DNA analysis and voice identification” into the mix along with facial recognition tech.


Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.