Tampa Super Bowl Crowd Scanned for Suspectsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Wild Wild West : One Thread
Wednesday January 31 3:45 PM ET
Tampa Crowd Scanned for Suspects
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Police apparently videotaped everyone passing through stadium turnstiles at the Super Bowl and used computers to analyze the images in a check for terrorists and other criminals, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
No arrests were made as a result of the face-matching surveillance system - apparently used for the first time at a major sports event.
Each facial image of the 100,000 fans and workers entering through the turnstiles at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday was digitized and checked electronically against computer files of Tampa police, the FBI (news - web sites) and other law enforcement agencies, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
Had the system found a match, officers could have detained the person.
Images caught by the system are not stored permanently, but they could have been used on game day had any crimes been committed at the stadium.
``I find it disturbing. It smacks of Big Brother societies that keep watch over people,'' said Christine L. Borgman, a professor of information studies at the University of California at Los Angeles.
``If these surveillance systems spread, there may be a considerable margin of error in determining the identity of people who get snagged. And that is a big price to pay for your civil rights.''
Security officials said the system is no more intrusive than videotape cameras used at malls and convenience stores.
The FaceTrac system runs on software by Viisage Technology of Littleton, Mass.
-- Tidbit (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 01, 2001