|Social Media Now Being Used By Police And Intelligence Agencies To Collect Biometrics|
Amid the ongoing Facebook/Cambridge Analytica debacle over their general surveillance and misuse of users’ private data, there is an emerging trend that is infinitely more disturbing.
The first story popped up in the UK yesterday where police admitted to using a photo sent through WhatsApp to cull fingerprints for evidence that successfully led to the conviction of 11 individuals for drug crimes. The story further revealed that this was not just a special-use case; apparently it is a technique that has been developed specifically to use the vast amount of public photos available to extract evidence from images that have been posted or transmitted online.
As reported by Dawn Luger for The Daily Sheeple, this new technique is being rolled out and law enforcement is calling it “groundbreaking,” as it can pull information from even partial photos:
It all started with a drug bust. The bust resulted in the police getting hold of a phone that had a WhatsApp message and image of ecstasy pills in a person’s palm. The message read: “For sale – Skype and Ikea-branded ecstasy pills…are you interested?”
The phone was sent to South Wales Police where the photo showing the middle and bottom portion of a pinky was enhanced.
“Despite being provided with only a very small section of the fingerprint which was visible in the photograph, the team were able to successfully identify the individual,” said Dave Thomas, forensic operations manager at the Scientific Support Unit.