MOST FBI AGENTS USING FACIAL RECOGNITION TECH HAVE HAD NO TRAINING HOW TO
Bureaucracies are notorious for getting too big to remain efficient. In fact, almost everyone already knows that efficiency isn’t what comes to mind when it comes to bureaucracies. But one could argue that it isn’t the size of the organization that makes this a commonality, it’s time and culture. Yet when we consider the Federal Bureau of Investigations, aka the FBI, we’re talking about size, a lot of history and all the cultural devolution those entail. That may (maybe?) explain how we are now learning that most FBI agents that use facial recognition technology actually have no idea how to really use it.
7 LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES MADE 60,000 SEARCHES IN JUST 19 MONTHS
So chew on that little fact for a moment or two and wonder at how bad that really is. And what does “most” mean when it comes to FBI agents? How about 95% of them? That’s almost as good as it gets when it comes to most. But clearly, the word got out to them before it got out to us. That likely explains why two of the 7 law enforcement agencies between the DHS and the DOJ started requiring training before their agents can actually use facial recognition technology. But for 60,000 searches between October 2019 and March 2022, that training wasn’t required by any of the 7 agencies.
WHEN 95% OF FBI AGENTS DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE FACIAL RECOGNITION PROPERLY, THERE’S A PROBLEM
And yes, these searches using this tech involved criminal investigations. And when it comes to the FBI, only 10 of 196 staff that accessed any of the 4 services used for facial recognition had any training. But of course, the FBI now says they plan on implementing a requirement for all their staff. It just hasn’t happened yet, nor have they said when it will finally start. So now let’s go back to thinking about all the times we’ve heard about mistaken identity when it comes to facial recognition tech. And then let’s think about how many more times it actually happened and we have no clue. Then let’s think about all the notorious issues there are when it comes to using the tool when it involves African American faces.