DeWine Weighs-In On Feds Use Of State Databases And Facial Recognition Software

Jul 12, 2019

Credit Ohio Department of Public Safety

Federal immigration officials are ramping up efforts to crack down on people who lack legal residency status. 

As part of those investigations, some states have been asked to provide driver's license photos  so the feds can use facial recognition software for identification and location purposes. Governor Mike DeWine says federal authorities have been able to access Ohio's facial recognition database that includes driver's license photos. But  DeWine says those photos shouldn't be used for sweeping surveillance "dragnets."  Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

DeWine says as attorney general, he appointed two separate bipartisan groups that came up with rules to ensure law enforcement agencies that have access to the state’s facial recognition database are not using it improperly.

“This is not a situation where we take BMV pictures and just dump them to the FBI.”

DeWine says these pictures have been used by police agencies for decades to identify dangerous criminals. He notes facial recognition is just a faster process and doesn’t mean anyone identified by it is guilty of anything. DeWine says using it in a way that suggests otherwise would be considered abuse of the system.