Police Are Now Using Driver’s License Photos in the US to Identify Suspects in Criminal Cases
A new report by the Washington Post today reveals how a database containing information on more than 120 million people, originally created to prevent fraudulent driver’s licenses in the United States, is now being used to “identify suspects, accomplices and even innocent bystanders” in numerous criminal investigations.
The setup poses new questions about the amount of data that the government and authorities have access to, but also about how it is being used and shared without public knowledge.
The Washington Post explains that the new database was conceived in international war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan in order to identify individual rebels and those working for opposing forces.
The new use-case in the United States could mean that a huge number of civilians - those with no criminal record or relation to an active case being investigated by the police - are being displayed as part of ‘digital lineups’ when identifying potential suspects.