[AP] Automated video-scanning for criminal mugshots

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From: Rohit Khare (Rohit@KnowNow.com)
Date: Wed Jan 31 2001 - 13:30:22 PST

[Another minor landmark in the nation's evolving surveillance society... RK]

Tampa Crowd Scanned for Suspects
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Police apparently videotaped everyone passing
through stadium turnstiles at the Super Bowl and used computers to
analyze the images in a check for terrorists and other criminals, a
newspaper reported Wednesday.

No arrests were made as a result of the face-matching surveillance
system -- apparently used for the first time at a major sports event.

Each facial image of the 100,000 fans and workers entering through
the turnstiles at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday was digitized and
checked electronically against computer files of Tampa police, the
FBI and other law enforcement agencies, the St. Petersburg Times

Had the system found a match, officers could have detained the person.

Images caught by the system are not stored permanently, but they
could have been used on game day had any crimes been committed at the

``I find it disturbing. It smacks of Big Brother societies that keep
watch over people,'' said Christine L. Borgman, a professor of
information studies at the University of California at Los Angeles.

``If these surveillance systems spread, there may be a considerable
margin of error in determining the identity of people who get
snagged. And that is a big price to pay for your civil rights.''

Security officials said the system is no more intrusive than
videotape cameras used at malls and convenience stores.

The FaceTrac system runs on software by Viisage Technology of Littleton, Mass.


On the Net:

Viisage Technology: http://www.viisage.com

City of Tampa: http://www.ci.tampa.fl.us

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