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ICE Use Of DMV Databases For Facial-Recognition Requests Draws Concern From Privacy Advocates

FBI and ICE Use State DMV Databases For Federal Facial Recognition Searches
FBI and ICE Use State DMV Databases For Federal Facial Recognition Searches
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Federal agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI use driver’s license photos for facial-recognition requests, according to new research from the Georgetown Law School’s Center on Privacy and Technology.

The Washington Post first reported on the trove of documents, emails and facial-recognition requests obtained via public records, which Georgetown shared with them. The research team at Georgetown along with other privacy advocates and lawmakers from both parties have criticized the practice, arguing that it infringes on civil rights and should not be used by federal agencies since neither state lawmakers nor license holders have approved their photos for such use. But a former ICE agent tells KPCC’s AirTalk that he was using facial-recognition technology as early as the mid 90s, and wonders whether a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to a photo taken by a government agency for a government ID. 

Today on AirTalk, we’ll take a closer look at what the documents obtained by researchers at Georgetown tell us about how these federal agencies use the data.


Clare Garvie, senior associate at the Center for Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, where she has led their research into how state DMVs share information with federal law enforcement; she tweets @clareangelyn

Claude Arnold, a consultant at Frontier Solutions, a crisis management firm based in Washington, D.C.; he is also a retired Special Agent In Charge with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for over a decade, holding various roles at the agency including overseeing all aspects of ICE investigative mission in the L.A. area and in Southern Nevada