Beacon Journal/ editorial board: Dave Yost’s extra care for facial recognition

Akron Beacon Journal/ | Opinion

The purpose of the state’s facial-recognition system is sound. It is designed to tap data, or photographs, from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to help law enforcement authorities prevent and solve crimes. It also carries the potential for abuse, a concern that resonated recently when the Washington Post reported that the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have used state driver’s license databases to look through millions of photos of Americans without their knowledge and consent.

Ohio is one of those states. Thus, Dave Yost, the state attorney general, responded appropriately in launching a review of the system here, seeking to bring helpful clarity and transparency.

On Wednesday, the attorney general announced his findings. They are reassuring, the review concluding “there is no evidence of federal misuse … such as for mass surveillance, broad dragnets or other illegitimate uses.” Those tapping the system, in operation since 2013 and consisting of 2011 driver’s license photographs, mostly are local and state authorities…

Yost reported “everything is being done well.” That follows, considering the guidelines set by Mike DeWine, now governor, who was attorney general at the inception. DeWine formed an advisory committee, which recommended improvements.

At the same time, Yost had good reason to add: “I want it to be done better.”

Read the full editorial here.

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