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Maryland Scored a Win Using Facial Recognition Software in Annapolis Shooting

Police responding to the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis faced a perfect storm of problems when they took the suspected gunman into custody: The man had no identification, he wouldn’t speak to investigators, and a fingerprint database wasn’t producing results.

But they had a backup plan: Investigators ran his photo in Maryland’s state-of-the-art facial recognition database. The system quickly returned a match.

The case appears to represent a highly successful deployment of the controversial technology, saving investigators critical time as they scrambled to identify a suspect and find out whether he was working alone. And it could boost arguments from law enforcement in favor of facial recognition at a time when systems such as Maryland’s have fallen under intense criticism from privacy advocates and civil rights groups who say they could be used to surveil innocent people or reinforce racial profiling. Proponents of the technology will surely point to it as a compelling example of the value such systems could offer police departments.

Read more from the Washington Post

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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