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Privacy Groups Sound the Alarm Over FBI's Facial-Recognition Technology

• nationaljournal.com

More than 30 privacy and civil-liberties groups are asking the Justice Department to complete a long-promised audit of the FBI's facial-recognition database.

The groups argue the database, which the FBI says it uses to identify targets, could pose privacy risks to every American citizen because it has not been properly vetted, possesses dubious accuracy benchmarks, and may sweep up images of ordinary people not suspected of wrongdoing.

In a joint letter sent Tuesday to Attorney General Eric Holder, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others warn that an FBI facial-recognition program "has undergone a radical transformation" since its last privacy review six years ago. That lack of recent oversight "raises serious privacy and civil-liberty concerns," the groups contend.

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