Call Today for a free Consultation
262-923-8761 24 Hour Emergency Contact

Concerns regarding facial recognition use by law enforcement

One of the things police sometimes use in their investigations are databases. There are various types of databases police might turn to, including those involving DNA or fingerprints. One type of database that has been growing in its police use in recent times are photo databases.

Specifically, some agencies have been turning to using facial recognition software to try to identify criminals. The software can compare a person’s face to photos within a database. The photos in such databases could come from various sources, including police records.

Now, this tactic does raise some potential concerns, including:

  • Privacy concerns.
  • Concerns about its impact on minorities. There are worries that African-Americans may be disproportionally represented in police photo databases.
  • Concerns over where the photos in the databases are coming from. In addition to photos from police records, some states allow such databases to also include photos from identification documents, like driver’s licenses.

Given these concerns, one might hope this tactic would be one states and the federal government would regulate closely. However, it appears this is generally not the case. A recent report, done by a think tank, found that this method was not subject to much in the way of strong rules.

The report recommended stronger oversight by states and Congress on this front. It included suggestions on things that could be regulated to address some of the concerns the tactic can raise. What do you think states, including Wisconsin, should do when it comes to police use of this method?

When police take any sort of database-related actions in an investigation, how proper the actions are, including how closely they follow any applicable regulations, can have major implications for suspects. So, the propriety of police’s database-related conduct (including conduct related to photo databases) in an investigation can be an important thing to look into in criminal cases. Experienced attorneys can assist individuals accused of a crime with looking into this and other important defense issues.

Source: The New York Times, “Study Urges Tougher Oversight for Police Use of Facial Recognition,” Daniel Victor, Oct. 18, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Choosing the Right Lawyer Buting for the Defense In The News

Our Office

Brookfield Office
400 N. Executive Drive
Suite 205
Brookfield, WI 53005

Phone: 262-923-8761
Phone: 262-821-0999
Fax: 262-821-5599
Map & Directions

Glendale Office
6165 North Green Bay Avenue
Glendale, WI 53209

Map & Directions

How Can
We Help You?


Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Email Us For A Response
Back To Top payment