Government Involved in Developing Facial Recognition for Surveillance

The FBI and the Department of Defense helped to research and develop the software needed for facial recognition in street cameras and drones, according to internal documents. Much of the information comes from documents related to the Janus program, where the program’s leaders worked with the FBI to design technology with the ability to process “truly unconstrained face imagery.”

From The Washington Post:

Beyond government-sponsored research, federal agencies have also paid for access to private facial recognition systems. The FBI signed a $120,000 contract earlier this year with Clearview AI, maker of a facial recognition tool that uses face photos taken without consent from across social media and the public internet. FBI officials said in the contract they were paying for “a search engine of publicly available images … to be used in ways that ultimately reduce crime.”

The Defense Department last year also awarded a nearly $730,000 contract to the video firm RealNetworks for facial recognition software that could be used on autonomous drones for “identification and intelligence-gathering” purposes, a contract shows.