Friday, December 28, 2018


If you are reading media articles detailing the uses of facial recognition software (FRS) systems, you may have noticed that American law enforcement agencies have enthusiastically adopted that technology to solve many of their difficult investigative problems. Their deployment of FRS platforms appears to be on a much wider scale than by compliance departments in financial institutions.

Some of the uses that law enforcement has currently employed FRS systems for include:

(1) Locating gang members through the use of FRS programs on social media and social networking sites, in order to identify other members of the target's organization, their family, friends and associates, and even the physical locations of operation.

(2) Identifying "Tippees," those remote individuals who are the unlawful recipients of non-public information concerning companies listed on a stock exchange, for the purposes of identifying Insider Trading violations under Federal Securities Laws.

(3) Identifying potential Persons of Interest in criminal investigations, through the location of victims or deceased individuals, and through those social media resources, possible targets of an investigation, the location of the proceeds of crime, and additional targets.

(4) The identification of associates and family members, their possible residential or employment  addresses, and romantic partners, of individuals believed to be connected to potential or operational terrorist activities.

(5) Canvassing of CCTV and newsreel footage of public events, surveillance cameras and security system film to identify perpetrators, eyewitnesses, victims and alibi witnesses, to specific criminal activity. 

Clearly, law enforcement has found FRS programs to be extremely useful as a supplemental tool in criminal investigations, and often as the only means available to extract critical intelligence needed to close an investigation by an arrest.  

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