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Ohio's Facial Recognition Task Force Wants Newer Driver's License Photos

Ohio Driver's License

A task force studying the use of facial recognition for law enforcement found no wrongdoing in the way the state was handling that system. An upgrade and expansion of the system is now likely.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says law enforcement already has access to driver’s license photos, but he says they aren’t good quality.

Yost wants the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to turn over new photos, saying drivers voluntarily agreed to that when they obtain a driver’s license.

“They need to weigh their concerns against that reality. Everything is a tradeoff," Yost says.

Yost says safeguards will be taken to make sure the facial recognition database is not misused.

“This is no substitute for police work," Yost says. "Facial recognition technology is a tool to develop leads. It is the beginning of the investigatory process. It is not the conclusion of it. Nobody in Ohio should ever be arrested and charged based on a match or a potential match from facial recognition."

Yost says his office is in the process of evaluating recommendations made by the task force to protect against misuse of the system and will likely incorporate some of them.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.