State of Surveilance

State of Surveilance Across the US, Hollywood-style surveillance technology, is inching closer to reality. Sophisticated technologies enable access to more data than ever before, raising questions about how the information is used.

"You can lie about your name, date of birth, address; but tattoos, birthmarks, scars, don't lie", says officer Rob Halverson. Mobile facial recognition technology, allows him to capture a person's face, and confirm their identity within seconds. Wide-area surveillance is another technology revolutionising surveillance. Capturing images from a plane, it has the ability to play back the movement of cars, and people, as they scurry about the city. Meanwhile, the FBI this year, is finalizing plans to make 130 million fingerprints digital, and searchable. The FBI's Jeremy Wiltz is thrilled about the potential of solving cold cases: "I can't wait till those success stories come out". But many of the fingerprints belong to people, who have simply submitted their prints for background checks, while seeking jobs. Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is suing the FBI for what she believes subverts basic democratic rights: "Those people whose face images come up suddenly, have to prove their innocence, rather than the government having to prove their guilt".

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