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Homeland Security to test BOSS facial recognition at junior hockey game


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will test its crowd-scanning facial recognition system, known as the Biometric Optical Surveillance System, or BOSS, at a junior hockey game this weekend, according to the Russian news agency RT.

With assistance from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, DHS will test its system at a Western Hockey League game in Washington state. The test will determine whether the system can distinguish the faces of 20 volunteers out of a crowd of nearly 6,000 hockey fans, to evaluate how successfully BOSS can locate a person of interest.

According to DHS, BOSS technology consists of two cameras capable of taking stereoscopic images of a face and a back end remote matching system. Stereoscopic images are two images of the same object, taken at slightly different angles that create an illusion of three-dimensional depth from two-dimensional images.

The cameras transfer the pair of images to the remote matching system by way of fiber optic or wireless technology. The system then processes and stores the two images into a 3-D signature, which is the mathematical representation of the stereo-pair images that the system uses for matching.

Using the BOSS facial recognition algorithms, the signature is matched against a locally stored database created from volunteers, using a combination of mathematical and statistical analysis.

BOSS is capable of capturing images of an individual at 50-100 meters in distance. The system can capture images of subjects participating from a specific distance, or be set up in a way that tracks and passively captures frontal face images of an individual as he/she moves in front of the camera.

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, a $5.2 million contract for BOSS was awarded to Electronic Warfare Associates, a U.S. military contractor.

Recently the system was not deemed ready since it could not achieve 80 to 90 percent identification accuracy at a distance of 100 meters and could not process and identify images in less than 30 seconds against a biometric database.

This weekend’s test will attempt to rectify this deficiency.  If the test succeeds, the technology conceivably could be used at international crossings and other ports across the United States patrolled by the department.

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173 Replies to “Homeland Security to test BOSS facial recognition at junior hockey game”

  1. Do not cooperate with Big Brother. Boycott the Western Hockey League. Let them scan their 20 volunteers when they are the only people in the stands!

  2. I put together the team who developed facial recognition/behavioral detection software that was employed at Dulles Airport that did detect the terrorists who dive bombed a plane in PA. Authorities chose to ignore the signals.

  3. “Homeland to test…”? More like, “Nazi Gestapo to test facial recognition in order to secure the State’s safety from the Constitutional lawful will of the people.”

  4. I’d like to find out what the 20 “volunteers” were paid to sell their fellow Amercans “down the river.” Maybe they weren’t even citizens. Everyone should show up in Guy Fawke’s masks… really screw up Big Brother.

  5. This stuff’s been around forever. Any major roadway intersection in the U.S. now has 4-way camera coverage, oops…those aren’t cameras, they’re scanners. I read articles like this and think “limited hangout.” The powers that be have to admit to being a little bit pregnant, so they use this type of platform.

  6. Why am I not surprised? This creeping control has been in the works for decades. Why do you think they made sure Obama was elected and reelected with a resume so thin you couldn’t get many other jobs? We still haven’t seen his college records. Where is the release of the annual medical exam all Presidents must have? We get one page letters from his physician.

    Put a black face on it and attack all critics as racists and….. you have it made.

  7. This may seem a good idea at first, it will certainly capture a load of criminals, provided they have a mug shot on file somewhere. The problem will arise with false positives and the way they treat the person falsely identified. Also, remember that some law abiding things we take for granted may one day not be so, and you yourself may be on the wanted list. I think a few crooks getting away is worth the risk as opposed to total control of everything.

  8. This is fantastic! I hope it works because then we could apply the technology to elections to ensure one legal live person one vote!

  9. “If the test succeeds, the technology conceivably could be used at international crossings and other ports across the United States patrolled by the department.”

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, if the government was really interested in securing the borders it would’ve been done by now. After all, polls report that 80-90% of the American people want the borders secured and no amnesty – but our government no longer represents the people especially when it comes to illegal immigration.

    Computer facial recognition will never be used for border enforcement because it would be construed as “RACIST”. On the other hand, it can and will be used against American citizens.

  10. I’m sure there is a “dark” intent here where they will try to match cellphone and other data against the other 5980 non volunteers. Beyond Stalin or Amin’s wildest dreams…

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