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Panel recommends changes to state law enforcement database

Panel recommends changes to state law enforcement database

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A state report is recommending restrictions on the use of Ohio's facial recognition technology, which can identify suspects through possible matches with drivers' license photos.

The report from a committee convened by Attorney General Mike DeWine recommends that non-law enforcement personnel obtain written permission from the head of Ohio's criminal investigations agency before gaining access to the technology on the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway.

"Law enforcement will end up being able to get facial recognition and the other people who are on OHLEG who have a legitimate need to get other information will not be able to get facial recognition," DeWine said.

The report, released Friday, also recommends promoting the value of the technology to the public, such as its use cracking down on identity theft.

The committee said DeWine's office should create a policy to determine how long records in the are maintained. The panel also wants to see mandatory and standardized training for users of the gateway database.

A report in the Cincinnati Enquirer found that 26,500 people have access to the system. That includes more than 300 who are out of state.

"We have to keep in mind we have a lot of police officers. We also have a lot of court personnel. We have bailiffs, we have parole officers, probation officers who have some need to have some part of OHLEG," said DeWine.

The Attorney General also points out that criminals don't stop at the state's border, so it's vital to share information with law enforcement agencies in neighboring states.

"It would be crazy to deny legitimate law enforcement officers who use this for legitimate purposes this information," DeWine said.

He hopes to implement the recommended changes "as soon as possible."

 

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