For a few months, German police tested a face recognition system. Two hundred frequent travellers volunteered to have their faces recorded and three different systems tried to recognize the faces in the crowds of a train station. Results (in German): 60% recognition at best, 30% on average (depending on light and other factors).Terrific - all that wasted money, a dramatic expansion of police access to non-criminals' personal information, even biometric computer passwords, and all so Texas can use a vendor-driven technology that works on average 30% of the time.
Just as unnerving, the company that got the Texas contract has a history of losing drivers personal data to identity thieves.
Rep. Frank Corte from San Antonio is the man who ramrodded this bad idea through the legislative process in 2005, so be sure to thank him for the subsequent wasted tax dollars and loss of personal privacy. I know for a fact Chairman Corte was warned during the legislative process that this technology wasn't ripe and it was premature to spend tens of millions of dollars trying to hit a moving target. He didn't listen, and they missed the target, banking on new technology that turns out to work very poorly.
You know what they say, $20 million here, $20 million there, pretty soon it starts to add up to real money.