ACLU accuses federal government of hiding its use of facial recognition technology

The American Civil Liberties Union, accusing the federal government of hiding its use of facial recognition technology, filed a lawsuit to get more information about the potential invasion of privacy.

The civil rights group petitioned a federal court Thursday to force the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration to reveal details about their biometric identification and tracking technologies.

“These technologies have the potential to enable undetectable, persistent and suspicionless surveillance on an unprecedented scale. Such surveillance would permit the government to pervasively track people’s movements and associations in ways that threaten core constitutional values,” the complaint read.

They want to make details public about programs the federal government might be using that contain sensitive data and any safeguards to keep personal data private.

The FBI is believed to be operating a unit offering facial analysis, comparison and evaluation (FACE) services, in which investigative leads are given to FBI field offices trying to nab suspects. The FBI also operates a photo-system where law enforcement agencies can access and search 30 million photos.