The government is doing something it doesn’t want you to know about.
It’s using a secretive tool that lets officials determine who’s naughty and who’s nice.
With just a few sweeps of a mouse, it can put your face in a lineup and see if you’re the guy who robbed the bank… ran the red light… or joined the protest down the street.
Citizens in the know are up in arms these days about the news that Arizona has turned its Department of Transportation into one of the state’s largest law enforcement entities.
That’s right… the government body designed to build roads and bridges and maintain safety on our streets is now in the criminal-busting game.
But what few folks realize is that Arizona is just the headline maker. At least 42 other states are quietly in the game as well.
The Digital Lineup
It makes sense.
The DOT has something few other agencies have.
It has a picture of every driver in the state.
Most folks don’t think much of those pictures on their driver’s licenses. Getting an ugly mug shot has been part of the licensing process for generations.
But there’s something new that they have overlooked… facial recognition technology.
Over the last decade or so, tremendous strides have been made in the realm. Computers can now scan the national database of 411 million photos and accurately pick out select individuals. If your driver’s license picture matches a shot taken at a crime soon… you can expect a knock on your door.
Experts call the technology a “perpetual lineup,” but naysayers wonder just how far this net will stretch.
Even in the program’s infancy, the chances are quite high that you’re already in the database…
According to a report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology last year, at least one in every two American adults is in a law enforcement face-recognition network.
It’s a number that has certainly risen over the last year as more states have fallen into line with Bush-era licensing mandates that go live in 2018.
“By using face recognition to scan the faces on  states’ driver’s license and ID photos, police and the FBI have basically enrolled half of all adults in a massive virtual lineup. This has never been done for fingerprints or DNA. It’s uncharted and frankly dangerous territory.”
Unlike with fingerprints and traditional mug shots, you don’t need to be convicted of a crime to find your way onto this list.
In many states, you only need to have a driver’s license.
If you’re like most folks whom we share this startling news with, you’re likely wondering why you never heard of this program before.
“Surely the states would have to disclose this sort of thing,” most folks say.
That’s what’s so infuriating… and scary.
Take Arizona, for instance. There’s no disclosure when residents sign up for their driver’s licenses. There’s no consent form. And there’s certainly no way to opt out.
In fact, all that was said by the state at the program’s start was said in a single press release – that few outlets bothered to cover.
DOT officials say plenty of folks know about the program despite the lack of official disclosure. And besides that, they say the public should welcome the database. After all, it keeps criminals off the street.
Michael Lockhart, the chief of the Arizona DOT’s Office of Inspector General, said his team hasn’t heard anything negative about the program from citizens (perhaps because they don’t know about it).
“We’ve never had anybody that has asked us or been concerned about it,” he said. “Frankly, if you look at the whole concept of a driver’s license or an ID, you willingly go get those. It isn’t like you’re thinking this is all going to be private.”
In other words, the government doesn’t tell us about the program because it assumes we’re all just fine with it.
It assumes we’re okay with Big Brother tracking our identities and using sites like Facebook to find our friends, relatives and favorite vacation spots.
It assumes we’re okay with our faces being tracked and scanned several times each day, risking our freedom on the whims of technology.
And it assumes we’re okay with trading our Liberty for the ability to track down a few street-level thugs.
But we remind readers that free nations thrive on checks and balances… not assumptions.
Liberty depends on transparency.
And what this secretive program is doing is anything but transparent.
P.S. We’ve just uncovered Washington’s biggest power grab yet. This dirty scheme will hit millions of Americans where it hurts most… their wallets. Fortunately, there are ways for you to protect your Liberty… and your wealth. But you must act before December 13. Find out more here.