ICE, FBI reportedly scan state driver's license photos for facial recognition searches
State databases of driver's licenses have reportedly become a treasure trove for facial recognition searches by the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Millions of Americans' license photos have been scanned without their knowledge or consent, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
The Post based its article on five years of documents provided by Georgetown Law researchers.
In a related report released last month, the Government Accountability Office noted that the FBI has logged over 390,000 facial recognition searches of federal and local databases since 2011, including states' motor vehicles department databases.
Neither Congress nor any state legislature has approved the use of such searches of DMV databases, the Post reported. The revelation of this massive informal system could become more fodder for activists to demand bans on government use of facial recognition tech. In May, San Francisco became the first US city to prohibit police from using facial recognition.
ICE declined to comment on "investigative techniques, tactics or tools." The FBI didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Originally published July 8 at 8:30 a.m. PT.Update, 8:35 a.m.: Adds ICE's response.