CLARKSBURG, W. Va. – The FBI wants to know more about you.
The Washington Post on Saturday reported the Bureau plans to spend $1 billion to build the world’s largest computer database of minute details of people’s physical characteristics, all in the name of identifying criminals and terrorists.
When the project is complete, the pattern of one’s iris and face shape may alert the government to a terrorist’s identity. Upon request from employers, the FBI will retain fingerprints of employees and alert them if those workers violate the law.
The undertaking encompasses the gathering and storage of digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns and is expected to use scars — and possibly speech and body movement — to give the government unprecedented access in identifying individuals around the world.
"Bigger. Faster. Better. That's the bottom line," Thomas E. Bush III, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, said in the article. The division operates the database from its headquarters in the Appalachian foothills.
Critics say the project should not go forward unless it can be proven that the technology actually can single out a criminal in a crowd.