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Controversy Stalks FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI)

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FBI biometrics image database
Civil liberties organizations are increasingly expressing concerns over the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) biometrics database.

The following guest post was written by Jenny Richards, a freelance content writer.

The Next Generation Identification (NGI) project by the Federal Bureau of Investigations has again raised eyebrows with images stored by the beginning of the year increasing. While the term may sound all too innocuous, the reasoning behind the multi-faceted recognition technology has been causing jitters in the ever aggressive civil liberties world.

Potential for Mistaken Identity

The fear that FBI could inadvertently limit opportunities for well-meaning citizens by juxtaposing images of criminals against those of the innocents has set off another round of criticism. A civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) initiated the protest in 2014, and other groups have joined it to raise issue with the biometric database that the FBI is developing.

The whole debate dates back to the 1990s, when FBI’S Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) started implementing the largest person centric database known as Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).

With heightened terrorist threats more so after September 9/11, the government sought to optimize on evolving technology to meet its needs for homeland security, business operations and to curb the threat of international terrorism. This necessitated a more comprehensive identification system and thus the Next Generation Identification (NGI) idea was born.

biometrics and privacy
The FBI’s facial recognition biometric database is causing concerns among privacy and civil libery advocates.

Civil liberty activists are concerned that incremental features and capabilities incorporated into the current system will create friction in case of errors. The main concern according to a report released by EFF and signed by other bodies is face recognition database where images will be stored.
The central goal of the new system is effectively to phase out Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) but this is the factor precipitating these concerns. The activists argue that once face recognition system becomes the major source of identification purposes, it poses a risk that images of job seekers who provide their details will feature alongside those of criminals.

This risks giving prospective future employers a wrong impression as all images are stored in the same database. Unless these employers have experts in database management and administration, it will greatly affect the chances of those featured on such a database to get employment.

Another concern that came up was the reversal of FBI’s commitment to retain the database purely for criminal information. The government gave this assurance during a 2012 U.S Senate committee hearing that was investigating implication of facial recognition technology on privacy.

The U.S. Senate investigated the impact of facial recognition biometrics on individual privacy.
Pictured is the 2012 U.S Senate committee hearing that was investigating implication of facial recognition technology on privacy.

As things look for now, FBI is surely not going to back down especially after the Paris Charlie Hebdo attack. With the French having utilized their database to identify the main culprits before initiating an extensive manhunt, the U.S government seems to have the upper hand here.
The ongoing debate is turning into an all too familiar game of push and pull between civil liberty activists on one hand and authorities on the other. With immense resources used to upgrade IAFIS into an advanced repository for over 4.3 million images there is no letdown in this one.
It is promising to be a debate that will last for some time and at you will always get every update. As usual, technology from FBI and its contemporary NASA are denotative of the direction DBA will take.

jenny (1)Jenny Richards is a freelance content writer. She has written many articles on technology, the internet, software, database, hosting etc. To know more about Jenny’s contribution, please visit

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John Trader

John Trader is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager with M2SYS Technology, a recognized industry leader in biometric identity management technology. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA M2SYS Technology's mission is to pioneer the high-tech industry by delivering long-term value to customers, employees and partners through continued innovation and excellence in all aspects of our business. M2SYS continues to innovate, build and bring to market leading-edge biometrics solutions that revolutionize the industry and expand the applicability of biometrics technology in our marketplace. You can view their Web site at or contact them via e-mail at

5 thoughts on “Controversy Stalks FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI)

  • April 14, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Nice article Jenny Richards. With the help of your awesome writing skills you have discussed all the things excellently. This is an extraordinary post for remote dba support and through this article it is easy to understand that what is FBI’s Next
    Generation Identification i.e. (NGI). By this description which kind of biometric database is going to be developed by the FBI has come into the picture. 1000 likes for this. Thank you.

  • April 15, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Seriously, how was this even published? It reads like it was written in a foreign language and then run through Google Translate. Also the author clearly knows nothing about the topic. And “Mathew” is almost certainly a sock puppet. Bizarre.

    • April 21, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Thanks for the comment Tom. In our experience, it’s a lot more productive to explain your own views on the topic by writing a post to address what you feel are the inadequacies of this point of view rather than just criticizing our guest blog author. It also helps further solidify your position as an expert on the topic, and helps us all to learn! Perhaps you would be interested in writing a counter post and share your expertise on the topic with us for the benefit of the entire community?

  • September 15, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Thanks a lot jenny Richards for this helpful and awesome
    post. I carefully read the article and really understood the concept of What is FBI’s Next Generation Identification i.e.(NGI).To know more about this post related then Visit Remote DBA support services. Looking for more post about mentioned topic in future. Well Done!

  • September 23, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Great Article!! After reading this article I came to know that you have excellent writing skills. After a long search I get such fantastic article related to federal bureau of investigation (FBI’s).Thank you Jenny Richards for writing such informative article for us. If you want to know more then you can go for Remote DBA services. Good to read!!


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