August 9, 2001
Give The Government A
New Toy, And Look What Happens?
Tampa Man Questioned
After Face Scanning Camera Catches
The Associated Press
Aug 8, 2001
Fla. (AP) - A construction worker whose picture was caught by a
surveillance camera while on lunch was questioned by police after an Oklahoma
woman saw his picture in a magazine and claimed he was her
was wanted on felony child neglect charges.
Problem is, Rob Milliron has
never been married, doesn't have any children and has never been to Oklahoma.
Milliron's photograph was captured by the face-recognizing FaceIt program in
June while he was on a lunch break in Ybor City.
The computer program
allows police to scan faces in crowds looking for wanted criminals. The
computer matches the electronic imaging against a database of 30,000 mug shots
of felons, sexual predators and runaways.
There are 36 cameras set up in Ybor
City, the center of Tampa's night life.
Milliron didn't know it at the
time, but the police department used his
photo to demonstrate the system to
local news media. His photo ran in the St. Petersburg Times June 30.
A caption under the photo read, "The man in this image was not identified as
The Times later sold the photo to U.S. News and World
Beneath his photo in the magazine, a headline read, "You Can't Hide
Those Lying Eyes in Tampa." "It made me out to be a criminal," Milliron
A woman in Tulsa saw his picture in the magazine and called Tampa
police. She said the man in the photo was her ex-husband and was
wanted by police on charges of child neglect.
Milliron, 32, was
questioned by three police officers at his job site
Monday. After they
determined he wasn't the man the Oklahoma woman called about, they let him go
home. "He was absolutely horrified," said Milliron's girlfriend, Cheryl
The FaceIt program has drawn national criticism as an unlawful
invasion of privacy. The ACLU and House Majority Leader Dick Armey,
R-Texas opposed Tampa's use of the software. But Tampa Mayor Dick Greco has said
the cameras will remain in place.
Milliron, who says he plans to hire an
attorney, said he hopes the software system will be removed. "I don't think it's
right," he said. "They made me feel like a criminal."
can be found at : http://ap.tbo.com/ap/florida/MGAOVK7U4QC.html
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