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US biometric surveillance database reaches 10,000 data points

US biometric surveillance database reaches 10,000 data points

A privacy advocate’s database counting the United States government bodies that surveil citizens’ biometric identifiers reportedly now has 9,850 data points.

The Atlas of Surveillance, created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2019, is a map of the United States that can be searched and filtered to see all the locations so far known to the foundation to use some form of biometric surveillance.

It started with 250 data points, and now reportedly contains information on 5,500 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and multiple territories and districts.

The organization says it gathers data through hundreds of Freedom of Information requests, crowdsourcing, student researchers, interns and volunteer work.

The atlas tracks 12 categories, including body-worn cameras, drones, license plate readers, Ring/Neighbors partnerships with device owners, facial recognition and video analytics.

Known Ring/Neighbors partnerships have grown to 2,000, according to the foundation. There also are 100 so-called real-time crime centers, which are defined as “essentially police tech hubs, filled with wall-to-wall camera monitors and computers jacked into surveillance datasets.”

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