The FBI Wants to Identify People Based on Their Tattoos

The FBI Wants to Identify People Based on Their Tattoos

We’ve all seen it in the movies and on TV, with facial recognition software identifying a single person amongst crowds of millions all across a city. It would seem that we are not alone when we watch those films as the FBI now wants to take the software one step further and use the same principle to create an automated tattoo recognition system.

According to a study by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the FBI want to be able to create a digital profile of people based on the tattoos you’ve had over the course of your lifetime. While deciding if someone might be a criminal based on a tattoo someone got after having a few drinks might be a bad idea, the software is a serious area of concern with the EFF saying that tattoos are in fact a form of speech so using them to identify people is a big risk to their First Amendment rights.

The software has already been tested with 15,000 images of inmates and people who have been arrested shared to third party companies to test the algorithms used. With tattoos containing names, faces, and birthdays, they can give away not just your life but also those of others. Including the moral dilemma of testing software using prisoners data the next trial will feature over 100,000 photos from Florida, Michigan, and Tennessee further extending the range of an already questionable piece of software.

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