How California cops are using mobile fingerprinting and facial recognition devices
Police departments in California are identifying suspects using mobile biometric devices that scan fingerprints, faces and even tattoos.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a joint project with MuckRock, filed public records requests around the country to learn how police departments are using mobile biometric technology. More than 30 agencies have supplied thousands of pages of documents, including nine police agencies in California. PC Magazine covered the findings, summarized by EFF here.
Four of the nine agencies (Los Angeles County, San Diego, Carlsbad, San Diego Association of Governments) use facial recognition, employed with a smartphone camera and mobile app. Five of the agencies (Brentwood, Los Angeles County, Marin County, Pasadena, San Jose) scan fingerprints in the field to match them with criminal files.
Los Angeles County also uses tattoo recognition.
Seventeen police agencies in California said they could not locate responsive records to the requests, while three others did not acknowledge receiving the requests. The Los Angeles Police Department and San Francisco Police Department are still processing the records requests.