Controversial Biometrics Program Catches 17-Year Fugitive

The FBI has announced that with the help of biometric identification technology, it has arrested a fugitive who has been on the run for 17 years, reports Ars Technica.

Controversial Biometrics Program Catches 17-Year FugitiveThe fugitive was suspected of being the culprit in a child abduction and molestation case in Indiana back in February, 2000. At the time, the suspect was living under an assumed name, which he promptly abandoned as he fled authorities seeking to question him. Now, facial recognition technology has been used to identify him as Charles Hollin, a Walmart clerk living in Oregon; and he is under arrest.

The FBI caught him by applying facial recognition to his passport photo through the bureau’s controversial FACE program, a formerly secret initiative that searches civil ID databases that include citizens who have not been accused of any crimes; FACE came under criticism from the Government Accountability Office last year for having been developed without proper oversight.

The Hollin case echoes that of another, from 2015, in which the FBI used its Next Generation Identification system to track down an accused pedophile who had been on the run for 19 years; that individual, Lynn Cozart, was also found working at a Walmart in a different state, with biometric identification matching the face of his new Oklahoma driver license to that of his old Pennsylvania document.

Source: Ars Technica

January 17, 2017 – by Alex Perala