The NSA Collects Millions Of Faces Every Day. Well, Millions Of Images of Faces.

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It’s come to light that in their ongoing fight to protect Americans by eradicating the notion of human privacy, the NSA has been collecting “millions of images per day” from the firehose of personal photographs exchanged over the web.

This news, which comes to light via 2011-era documents obtained from media heartthrob Edward Snowden, reveal the NSA’s reliance on graphic clues like faces and fingerprints to track intelligence targets and suspected terrorists.


The fact that the NSA is using this software shouldn't come as a huge surprise. After all, Facebook has using facial recognition software since 2011. The NSA wouldn't be the first to use it either. A 2012 lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation showed that the FBI was also using similar technology.

While both the government and private sector dump billions of dollars into facial recognition tools, the technology remains notoriously unreliable for low-resolution images and for certain angles.


This could be a really great development for the safety of American citizens…depending on how many evil doppelgängers you have, and how you feel about being chased by surveillance drones.

Andy is a graphics editor and cartoonist at Fusion.