Saturday, July 15, 2006

Seek and Ye Shall FIND

According to PITO, FIND is the Facial Images National Database that will allow the police service in England and Wales to receive, store and retrieve facial images. A trial project was started in March 2006 and will go live in October this year.

To identify someone, facial recognition software compares newly captured images to databases of stored images (for a gentle introduction to the technology see How Stuff Works.

Meanwhile ... ID cards, which will become compulsory for all passport applicants from 2008, will store 49 categories of personal data including a digital head and shoulders photograph. It appears that this data will not just be held on the embedded chip on the ID card (as was once suggested), but will now be held on a central database. Baroness Scotland has called for all CCTV equipment to be upgraded so as to take advantage of ID card data when it becomes available. (BBC News: Better CCTV needed for ID match 11 May 2006)

If FIND is designed to work with CCTV, and the National ID card database is designed to work with CCTV, how long before all three are talking to each other and innocent members of the public are questioned by the police because they were spotted by the system sitting next to a 'suspected' terrorist on a train?


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