Different branches of the U.S. government have been hard at work compiling vast amounts of data to build different biometric facial recognition databases. And according to The Week, these efforts violate Americans' privacy and civil liberties.
The Department of Homeland Security is working on a new database called HART, which is short for The Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology. HART is an all-encompassing database. For each person in the database, HART has biometric face and voice data, as well as information on any tattoos, scars, "physical descriptors," and even the person's DNA. Currently, HART reportedly has over 500 million people in the database, which include U.S. citizens but also foreigners. HART is expected to be fully operational by 2021, but it will be rolled out as early as next year. By the following year, HART is expected to have iris and facial matching abilities.
And that's not all. The HART database will also compile information on a person's government IDs, birthday, and more. The information will supposedly be available and shared with local, state, and federal authorities. EFF added that the information could also be shared with foreign governments as well.
HART will also have information on people's "relationship patterns" and officer "encounters," political and religious affiliations, and house information on one's relations with friends and family.
Another large database is being maintained by the FBI, which has what it calls the NGI, which is short for Next Generation Identification. NGI has been available since 2015 and is a vast database that includes information on a whopping one-third of Americans.