Next Generation Identification Program to Include Facial RecognitionCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: September 7, 2012 03:29PM
At this point, most people in the United States are likely quite aware of the existence of certain biometric databases used for law enforcement. Fingerprints and mug shots are examples of these data, and all can be used to identify persons that may be connected to some crime. A few years ago the FBI launched a new program called Next Generation Identification (NGI) to revolutionize these separate databases and bring them all together, to allow for faster searches and provide more information to law officers. Now NGI is going to have facial recognition support added, to give the ability for faces to be identified from a crowd, as New Scientist reports.
The current expectation for NGI is that it will have a nationwide rollout by 2014 and include information such as fingerprints, mug shots, other identifying images (of tattoos and scars, for example), voice prints, and iris scans. Some of this information is already stored in law-enforcement databases, so NGI will simply be improving the technology involved and bring the information together. Other information though has not been in such databases before, most notably the facial recognition information.
Stepping back from all privacy concerns about this program, it is impressive for what it aims to do. Currently technology for identifying fingerprints can take hours to complete, but NGI is so superior as to allow the same task to be completed in minutes. Facial recognition algorithms, like those that will be used, have also been shown to be very accurate, even when searching through over a million images.