Ohio license, ID pics could be added to facial recognition database soon

Posted at 5:29 AM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 07:25:33-05

CINCINNATI — Do you have an embarrassing driver's license or ID photo you wish no one would ever see? Unfortunately, that picture could be used by law enforcement soon.

A task force put together by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has recommended that Ohio driver's license and ID photos be collected and put into the state's facial recognition database. Yost's task force said by putting the pictures in the system, it could be an effective law enforcement tool.

Up until 2011, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles gave driver's license photos to the Bureau of Criminal investigation's database.

Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have said facial recognition systems can be misused, and a study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology said things like race and gender can affect the software's usage.

Yost said he plans on putting safeguards in place on the system though. One of those safeguards would be not allowing police officers to have direct access to the database.

Right now, criminal mugshots and license photos collected up until 2011 are in the state's database.