FBI wants driver’s license photos from database

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

ATTLEBORO, MASS. – The FBI wants your driver’s license photo to help improve its facial recognition database.

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows the FBI is in talks with Massachusetts, Rhode Island and 16 other states, trying to access these photos to expand its facial recognition database, which currently has more than 411-million photos.

More than a dozen states have already signed on.

Most of the drivers we caught up with outside the RMV in Attleboro are for it.

"A lot of people value their privacy, but if you don’t have anything to hide, why would you worry about it," questioned Jim Dorrance of Attleboro.”

"In order to keep us safe in this day and age, we should be able to access those things to maintain our safety," said Nicole Caporizzo of Franklin.

Others feel this would be big government going too far. The Massachusetts ALCU is questioning the accuracy of these facial recognition systems, saying it subjects innocent people to scrutiny.

The Rhode Island ACLU sent ABC6 News a statement, saying in part: "The ACLU has deep concerns about reports that the DMV may be preparing to collaborate with the FBI in sharing drivers’ license photos for purposes of facial recognition matching. This collaboration raises a number of potentially serious privacy concerns, and is certainly not something that should be done without public input."

Gerard Cavanaugh of Attleboro agrees. "There’s certain things that people shouldn’t be sticking their nose in,” he said. “People need their own privacy. Where do you draw the line as to what you really need and what’s right?”

There is no firm timeline as to when all of this could happen, if the states agree to it.

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