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Another state lets county police farm out face biometrics matching to others

Another state lets county police farm out face biometrics matching to others

A county sheriff’s office in the U.S. state of Minnesota is helping other law enforcement agencies in the state with face matching.

According to broadcaster CBS Minnesota, deputies with the sheriff’s office in Hennepin County, Minn.,  have access to an unspecified facial recognition algorithm, and they are performing matches for other law enforcement agencies.

At least one agency – Minneapolis’ police department — is banned from operating its own biometric systems. It is not known if Minneapolis officers ask for face-matching help.

The database does not include driver’s license photo, nor can deputies provide live monitoring or surveillance. According to CBS, the sheriff’s office is conservative with sharing matches. It wants to have at least one piece of corroborating evidence before handing matches back to officers.

In an example broadcast on the air, a deputy said that he checked the video system set up at pawn shops to find more evidence. He was rewarded with an image of someone who looked similar to the original photo and the match, but also the subject was wearing the same clothing on the day of the crime as in the original image.

The setup sounds similar to how a sheriff in Pinellas County, Fla., handles outside requests for face matching. State restrictions on use of algorithms have left Pinellas with the only multi-department database for most Florida agencies.

In fact, 20 federal agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI access the database as well

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