The Drug Enforcement Administration is collecting information about more than just license plates with the tracking system revealed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Documents released by the ACLU this morning show that the DEA is also using the license plate readers (LPRs) on which this system relies to capture photographs of a vehicles’ passengers. The images can then be run through facial recognition software.
This is meant to give the DEA more context about the people whose movements it’s tracking with this program, which gathers data from more than 100 LPRs managed by an unknown number of police departments around the country to aid in their investigations.
The program was originally meant to assist with civil asset forfeiture cases, but it has since expanded to assist departments approved by the El Paso Intelligence Center with investigations into murders, rapes, and other crimes, the Wall Street Journal reports.