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Proceedings Paper

Facial recognition at the CIA
Author(s): Susan Gragg
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Paper Abstract

Law enforcement agencies need to identify suspects as they travel around the world. Terrorists and others change all sorts of information about themselves but their faces remain the same. The first operational facial recognition system (face trace) was developed at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the late eighties. It combines image analysis technology with collateral information to create an 'electronic mug book.' Using some simple collateral information about a suspect (height, age and sex) and a photograph, the system gives users the ability to identify an unknown person with a reasonable probability. The system matches information extracted from the photographs with similar information extracted from a database of photographs of existing suspects. The technology was subsequently transferred to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for use by the Border Patrol.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 January 1997
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 2933, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Methods and Technologies, (6 January 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.263146
Show Author Affiliations
Susan Gragg, Central Intelligence Agency (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2933:
Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Methods and Technologies
Wade Ishimoto, Editor(s)

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