FC: Wendy Leibowitz: What's the problem with facecams in airports?

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sun Nov 04 2001 - 12:23:29 PST

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    Politech facecam archive:
    Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 17:13:19 -0500
    Subject: Re: FC: ACLU feature on facecams in airports, DOD "Ferret" system
    From: "Wendy Leibowitz" <wendytechat_private>
    To: declanat_private
    The technology doesn't work, but isn't it less intrusive than a body search,
    or almost any other search to which we submit at borders and airports? There
    is a long line of cases about how intrusive border/airport searches must be,
    and the general consensus of the courts is: very. Remember we're also
    looking for drugs, so the guards can strip-search you and even hold you for
    hours or days (I believe) if they think you've swallowed drugs (you've got
    to go to the bathroom eventually).
    All in all, I don't understand the problem with face-cams at borders or
    airports. It affects only those whose pictures already appear in a database,
    and so the issue should be--who's in the database, not whether or not we use
    this unobtrusive technology.
    Wendy R. Leibowitz
    Legal Technology Columnist
    Editor, E-Filing Report
    1140 23rd St. NW
    Washington, DC 20037
    Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 16:45:03 -0500
    From: Barry Steinhardt <BSteinhardtat_private>
    Subject: Re: California's Oakland airport will use face-recognition software
    To: declanat_private
    The news account of Oakland Airport's installation of Face Recognition
    Technology is not accurate in, at least one, respect. This is not the first
    installation at an airport. It has already been installed at the Fresno
    Airport and unlike Oakland, where the use will be limited to persons who
    have been arrested, the Face Recogntion system, which the Defense Department
    actually dubbed "Ferret", is or will be used on all passengers.
    Face recogntion will also be installed on a trial basis at Boston Logan and
    a full scale basis at Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island.
    Barry Steinhardt
    From: "Richard M. Smith" <rmsat_private>
    To: <declanat_private>
    Subject: RE: California's Oakland airport will use face-recognition software
    Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001 17:09:54 -0500
    In-Reply-To: <>
    This particular face scanning system at the Oakland Airport sounds like
    it is going to be used to round up the "usual suspects" rather than to
    grab real terrorists:
        Imagis Technologies and Oakland (Calif.) Police Department
        Extend Biometric Facial Recognition Technology to Oakland
        International Airport
        "The installation at Oakland International is part of a
        US$2.65 million contract with Alameda County Sheriff's Department
        to provide a completely integrated law enforcement solution,
        including Imagis' ID-2000 and CABS Computerized Arrest and
        Booking System technology for common access to centralized images
        for arrestee verification, identification and processing. Users will
        use Imagis technology to track and identify known recidivists in
        the county-wide image database in an effort to fight crime and
    Richard Smith
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