Report: Michigan State Police facial image database grows

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A newspaper reports the Michigan State Police’s Statewide Network of Agency Photos has grown to nearly 50 million facial images.

The Detroit Free Press reports the Secretary of State’s Office has been giving state police its digital photos since 1998 and state police started using facial recognition technology in 2001. Those include ones taken for driver’s licenses or ID cards.

The newspaper reports the database also can include social media images if police obtained them as part of a criminal investigation.

State police spokeswoman Shanon Banner says in an email all of the agency’s facial examiners are trained by the FBI and any matches between suspect photos and database photos “only provide ‘investigative leads’ back to the investigating agencies.” She says the photos “are never considered to be positive identification.”

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