Facebook Has Better Facial Recognition Than FBI

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The FBI is readying its own facial recognition system and critics say it isn't good -- in fact, Facebook's own facial recognition software is better, reports say.

The FBI's new system, the Next Generation Identification (NGI) is being rolled out this summer with "millions of photos in a central database," according to the Verge. However, critics say that the NGI isn't very good and that Facebook's own in-house facial recognition software is better.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation actually did some research on the NGI and found that it's only about 85 percent accurate in placing a suspect in a 50-person list. In other words, in 50 guesses, the NGI "lets one in seven suspects off the hook."

Facebook's DeepFace system, however, is 97 percent accurate -- about the same as a human eyewitness. While not exactly apples to apples (Facebook has a database of 250 billion photos while the FBI only has 50 million,) it kind of stings to think the FBI's facial recognition system is second to a social network's.

That's a bit alarming especially since the FBI expects faces to be similar to fingerprints and hold up in court. However, with a significant number of inaccuracies, it can't -- so does that mean that the FBI will soon be serving court orders to Facebook?

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