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50 percent of Americans are in facial recognition databases

Say “goodbye” to anonymity.

It’s always been relatively easy to blend in with a crowd on a busy street. The anonymity it affords can help folks like politicians, celebrities and judges to stay under the radar and out of harm’s way.

But new facial recognition technology could soon change that. Police are utilizing the technology to identify anybody they choose without reasonable suspicion or a warrant.

Here’s how your picture could already be in the police database without you even knowing it.

The emergence of facial recognition technology

Law enforcement agencies around the country are looking to follow China’s example by using facial recognition networks for identification purposes. The high-tech sunglasses can analyze a person’s face, match it to photos from a database and relay the individual’s identification to the cop.

Where are they getting photos of law-abiding citizens? Is facial recognition technology a violation of privacy rights?

How officers are getting perfect strangers’ photos legally

If you’ve ever been in a mall, gas station, airport or almost any place with security cameras there’s a possibility that your photograph could already be in the database. A study from Georgetown University found that nearly half of the U.S. population has their photographs in the database and the number continues to grow.

Any biometric data shared on the web (such as social media) or saved from security camera footage can be made available to police without violating any privacy laws.

In an instant, the photos that police obtain can be digitized and stored in a database indefinitely. All of this can occur without a person’s knowledge or consent and without a warrant.

Regulation of facial-recognition technology is few and far in between. With the lack of regulation, the privacy rights of all Americans incorporated under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution could soon be in trouble.

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