Numlock Sunday: Dave Gershgorn on the biometric dragnet
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition. Each week, I'll sit down with an author or a writer, behind one of the stories covered in a previous weekday edition for a casual conversation about what they wrote.
This week, I spoke to Dave Gershgorn who wrote “This Is How the U.S. Military’s Massive Facial Recognition System Works” for OneZero. Here's what I wrote about it:
Over the past 10 years, the U.S. military invested $345 million in biometric databases, the current result of which is ABIS, the Automated Biometric Information System. It’s a database of 7.4 million identities linked to facial images, DNA data, fingerprints and other biometric data collected from allied soldiers, suspected terrorists and non-U.S. citizens. Individuals of interest may find themselves on the BEWL (Biometrically Enabled Watch List) which will allow them to be identified over surveillance tech on borders, bases and battlefields. In the first half of 2019, 4,467 people on the BEWL were identified,…