Local reactions to law enforcement’s facial recognition software - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Local reactions to law enforcement’s facial recognition software

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Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn
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(Toledo News Now) -

There's a new tool for fighting crime in Ohio, but not everyone is excited about it.

New facial recognition software has been used more than 2,600 times already, and some say it's working.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn has never used the new software, but he says in some cases, he believes it could be beneficial.

"Certainly using it to identify someone with Alzheimer's, or a homicide victim, not knowing who they are, but we just have to be very careful of Big Brother having huge databases of all of us," he said.

The software allows law enforcement to match surveillance photos electronically with driver's license photos. Sheriff Wasylyshyn says there needs to be restrictions in place.

"Obviously, your picture, my picture's in there, because we both have driver's licenses, so we're in the database," he said. "We have to be very cautious on how it's used, so hopefully there will be limits on who can access it and why they're accessing the information."

On Monday, Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the use of the software, but it had already been in place since June. The Ohio ACLU chapter says he handled the matter backwards.

"You should be developing the rules, telling the public, then beginning to use the technology," said Nick Worner, communications coordinator for the Ohio ACLU. "This was done in the exact opposite order, and that's why we think it needs to be shut down, and redone the right way."

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