FBI: Stop Collecting Citizens' Photos!

The FBI released documents showing they are on their way toward creating a face recognition database by this summer. This database, called Next Generation Information (NGI) has been planned to include 52 million photos, representing one third of the U.S. population.

NGI is going to build on the FBI's existing fingerprint database, and will expand to include biometric data such as palm prints, iris scans and face recognition data, as well as personal information like name, home address, immigration status, age, race and so on.

The problem with NGI is that it will include non-criminal as well as criminal faces. Many jobs require fingerprints to be sent to the FBI and stored in their database, but this collection never included photos before. With NGI, an employer could require a headshot as well as fingerprints. This means non-criminal citizens could be implicated in a criminal investigation just because their facial features are similar to a perpetrator's. One million of the images in the database will come from unexplained sources.

The FBI itself states that “the candidate [perpetrator of a crime] will be returned in the top 50 candidates” 85 percent of the time “when the true candidate exists in the gallery.”

This new system is invasive and a breach of innocent citizens' privacy. Please sign the petition to urge the FBI to cease plans to collect non-criminal photos in their new database!

We, the undersigned, are concerned with your plans to implement the Next Generation Information (NGI) database in summer 2014.


We understand that NGI will include non-criminal as well as criminal faces. As you know, many jobs require fingerprints to be sent to the FBI and stored in their database, but this collection never included photos before. With NGI, an employer could require a headshot as well as fingerprints. This means non-criminal citizens could be implicated in a criminal investigation just because their facial features are similar to a perpetrator's. 


The FBI itself states that “the candidate [perpetrator of a crime] will be returned in the top 50 candidates” 85 percent of the time “when the true candidate exists in the gallery.”


We believe that this new system is invasive and a breach of innocent citizens' privacy. We respectfully urge you to cease plans to collect non-criminal photos in your new database. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our petition.

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