You ain’t got no privacy.  You don’t need any stinking privacy!

Using facial recognition software in combination with image storage houses like drivers license databases can be highly useful in tracking down criminal suspects.

But the combination can be highly dangerous, too, as this attitude by Joseph Michael, Washington County Deputy State’s Attorney in Maryland, demonstrates:

the expectation of privacy ends when you sit down and smile at the government desk.

Pinellas County (FL) Sheriff Bob Gualtieri argued

This is no different than if I laid out all those photos in front of me…and said “No, that doesn’t look like him, that doesn’t look like him, here we go, that’s him[.]”  The only thing is I am doing it in a different way, a more automated way, a more efficient way.

Sometimes that faster, more automated—human-removed—way is less efficient, though, as it removes thought and care and consideration of individual liberty from the process, favoring as it does getting a conviction over getting a just outcome.

Michael’s attitude illustrates the conundrum.  His attitude, the attitude of a Government Man, is precisely why we have a Bill of Rights in our Constitution.  His attitude is just an extension of “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you should let Government snoop if it wants to.”  Folks like Gualtieri can be better trained.  Folks like Michael are unfit for office in a free country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *