“Story by Ali Winston & Allison Sampite-Montecalvo
Facial recognition software common in the military is finding its way to local police departments, and agencies across San Diego County are at the forefront of deploying the technology on their tablets and smartphones.
Law enforcement officials praise the program as effective for identifying criminals, but some civil libertarians see growing databases of such information as a threat to privacy.
The Tactical Identification System, coordinated by the San Diego Association of Governments, matches images taken by officers in the field with databases of about 348,000 San Diego County arrestees. The system itself has nearly 1.4 million booking photos because many people have multiple mug shots on record.
Commander David Myers with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said deputies have used the technology for the last six months to a year in various circumstances, including during traffic stops when a person cannot produce legitimate identification or any at all.”